Changing local climate patterns through hail suppression systems: conflict and inequalities between farmers and wine producers in the Burgundy Region (France) - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Regional Environmental Change Year : 2023

Changing local climate patterns through hail suppression systems: conflict and inequalities between farmers and wine producers in the Burgundy Region (France)

Abstract

Meteorological hazards can lead farmers to resort to strategies such as weather modifications. In this paper, we study how the use of such strategies, in this case silver iodide ground generators aimed at protecting vineyards from hail, caused a conflict between farmers (wine producers and cattle breeders) in Burgundy, France. The conflict emerged as the installation of these generators coincided with 3 years of severe droughts (2018, 2019 and 2020), which incurred additional expenses and organisational difficulties for local cattle breeders and led them to suspect a potential link between the generators and the droughts. We followed a transdisciplinary research approach, based on local stakeholder input and their need to mitigate the negative impacts of the conflict. Based on this approach, we studied the links between generator use and precipitation, and carried out in-depth interviews to study farmers' experiences of climate, generators and conflicts in the region. Whilst the climatic analysis shows no local or regional effects of the generators on precipitation volumes, the sociological study highlights the vulnerability of farmers to successive droughts, found to be part of a wider pattern of climate change based on water balance variables (temperature, precipitation, evapotranspiration potential, soil wetness index) over a long period (1959-2020). Our results suggest that the use of technical solutions to mitigate meteorological hazards, within a broader context of climate engineering, can lead to conflicts at the regional level, and that the climate change challenge in the context of agriculture requires a focus on wider social issues including vulnerability.
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hal-04141476 , version 1 (26-06-2023)

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Sandrine Petit, Thierry Castel, Gabrielle Henrion, Yves Richard, Mamadou Traore, et al.. Changing local climate patterns through hail suppression systems: conflict and inequalities between farmers and wine producers in the Burgundy Region (France). Regional Environmental Change, 2023, 23 (3), pp.89. ⟨10.1007/s10113-023-02076-5⟩. ⟨hal-04141476⟩
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