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Vineyard in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state. Photo: Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The heat wave that ravaged the Pacific Northwest signaled trouble for winemakers in Oregon and Washington, who fear the high temperatures could return and spur dangerous wildfires, AP reports.

Driving the news: The grapes suffered little, if any, damage in June, when temperatures hit 120 degrees Fahrenheit. "Earlier or later in the growing season, it could have been disastrous," AP writes. Wineries in the Pacific Northwest intend to shield their crops from being toasted.

  • Many wineries around the world started planning for warming climates by moving to cooler areas, planting varieties that do better in heat and drought, and shading their grapes with leaf canopy.
  • Some workers leave more grapes on the vine so the fruit can ripen at a slower pace.

The big picture: A recent heat wave in Oregon and Washington killed almost 2oo people, the New York Times notes. Field workers in particular are at risk when faced with the high temperatures.

  • In Oregon, a farmworker collapsed and died in 104-degree weather moving irrigation lines at a plant nursery.

The state of Oregon on Thursday adopted an emergency rule that strengthens requirements for employers to ensure that workers can persist in extreme heat, including expanding shaded areas and increasing access to water, per AP.

  • Similarly, Washington state on Friday announced emergency rules to provide more protections for field workers amid the hot weather.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Oct 2, 2021 - Energy & Environment

1 wine thing: The new vineyards

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you want your kids to be able to experience a great Napa cabernet, you might want to lay it down now. Climate change is upending much of the wine world, radically reshaping the map of the world's greatest wine regions.

Why it matters: Wine is the most celebrated agricultural commodity in the world, a key part of many countries' national identity dating back in some cases for thousands of years. Much of that history and environment is now facing an existential threat.

The next 30 years of extreme weather

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

This year's extreme weather is a preview of even more turbulent times that will bedevil us for at least the span of a 30-year mortgage.

Why it matters: Extreme weather events are the clearest way we're feeling climate change in our daily lives, and they will reshape where and how we live, work and play.

How to adapt to extreme weather

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer. Photo: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg via Getty Images

With climate shock waves set to roil communities with increasing frequency and severity, an urgent task facing us all is to build up resilience measures to withstand these events.

Why it matters: It's too late to stop extreme weather from increasing even as emissions are reduced, so all we can do is adapt to it. But there are strategies that you — and your community — can take to become better prepared.

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