When it comes to dealing with extreme climate Australia must surely be one of the most experienced and resourceful countries in the world.
2014 was Australia’s third hottest on record, and the ten hottest years have all occurred in the last 13 years according to The Conversation.
Extreme heat is bad news for grapes, if the temperature is too high they suffer a similar fate to people, heat stress. Grapes get dehydrated and sunburnt. Countering dehydration is a simple matter of adding more water, assuming you have it. However, how do you stop a grape getting sunburn? Simple, sunblock of course!
If you find this surprising you might also be surprised to know that similar products are being tested on fruit and vegetables in countries around the world to prevent heat stress.
On the surface this might seem like a waste of time and resources but heat stress for fruit and vegetables is a major problem. Plants sweat in a similar way to people, water is secreted through pores in the plant as part of photosynthesis, in a process called transpiration. As this water evaporates it helps to cool the plant.
However, just as with people, as the ambient temperature rises, so does the amount of water a person, or a plant, needs.
So, before you scoff at sunblock for Syrah, consider that it might help reduce the amount of water required by fruit and vegetable growers, which can only be a good thing.
Full story at The BBC.
Image is “Hunter panorama-1b-web-l” by Mfunnell at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:JohnnyMrNinja using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.