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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

A new study finds a strong chance that climate change helped trigger the recent catastrophe that hit France's wine industry.

Driving the news: An extraordinary cold snap that gripped France in early April, just after a record-warm early spring, devastated grapes and other fruit crops.

  • New analysis by the research consortium World Weather Attribution shows that climate change made that disaster — a textbook example of a "false spring" event — up to 60% more likely.

Why it matters: As the world warms, growing seasons are shifting their timing, and frosts are changing their frequency and severity, too. The interaction between the two is making prized crops more vulnerable to large temperature swings.

How it works: Researchers focused on central France, in a region known for its Champagne.

  • They ran computer model simulations of the weather patterns that led to that event.
  • Some simulations included the current amount of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, while others omitted these concentrations.
  • The models showed that climate change made April's cold snap less likely as the lowest temperatures have risen and frost episodes are less frequent now.

Yes, but: There's another dynamic at play, which is the timing of the start of growing seasons, and when vines reach a critical growth stage. Once researchers weighed this alongside the temperature shifts, they saw a clear climate connection.

  • Warming winters mean growing seasons start earlier, which leads to more mature vines being exposed to frigid temperatures if an Arctic outbreak occurs in April.
  • When vines are in the bud burst stage, as they were in early April, they're extremely vulnerable to frost, and by moving budburst earlier in the spring, climate change's influence made this damaging event about 60% more likely.

Go deeper: Greenhouse gases from food systems vastly underestimated

Go deeper

Dangerous heat wave underway in West, will shatter records

High temperatures forecast for Friday, June 18, 2021 shown, with record-breaking temperatures marked by a rectangle. Image: Weatherbell.

A punishing mid-June heat wave is set to scorch much of the Southwest and West this week, with Las Vegas potentially eclipsing its highest temperature on record, which stands at 117°F.

Why it matters: The heat will build in a region that is experiencing a record drought, leading to dangerous fire weather conditions, high power demands, and causing water supplies to dwindle further. The heat itself could prove deadly.

Climate reality collides with rhetoric at the G7 summit

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Leaders of the G7 agreed to a sweeping new agenda over the weekend. But while the communique they issued is lofty in goals, it lacks crucial details on climate.

Why it matters: The G7's paucity of specifics on climate finance and domestic coal consumption, in particular, calls into question the ability of the wealthiest nations to take sufficient action on global warming.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress passes $2.1B Capitol security funding bill

U.S. Capitol police officers testify during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot on July 27. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Xinhua

A $2.1 billion Capitol security funding bill is heading to President Biden for his signature after the House and Senate passed the legislation on Thursday.

Why it matters: The legislation provides funding for the Capitol Police, the National Guard and other agencies to cover the costs incurred during the Jan. 6 riot.