The vineyard as a carbon sink to mitigate climate change

The vineyard as a carbon sink to mitigate climate change

It is undeniable the trend confirmed by multiple well-documented scientific reports, and even by almost empirical observations, that there is an increase in global temperature due to anthropic causes (Declaration COP-25, 2019). The consequences of this rapid thermal increase, even at the scale of human existence, seem undesirable in general terms for multiple reasons: the rise in sea level, extreme weather events or unpredictable modifications of ecosystems and crops.

In this context, it is worth wondering if woody crops in general and the vineyard in particular, can contribute to sequester carbon that, in the form of CO2, seems to be largely responsible for the greenhouse effect to which we have alluded before. It seems clear that, against human emissions from fossil carbon combustion, the major sinks that can partially offset this increase are the oceans and carbon fixation in forests and perennial cultivated plants.

In a country like Spain with average emissions, with a vineyard area for wine grapes of 952,829 ha (2019, MAPA) and in which it is considered that 6 tons of CO2 equivalent are emitted per person and year, it is worth highlighting the relevance of the fixation of CO2 by a woody crop of medium duration (30-40 years) such as vineyards.