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Conthey, Switzerland

Wetter O.,University of Bern | Pfister C.,University of Bern | Zorita E.,Helmholtz Center Geesthacht | Wagner S.,Helmholtz Center Geesthacht | And 29 more authors.
Climatic Change

The heat waves of 2003 in Western Europe and 2010 in Russia, commonly labelled as rare climatic anomalies outside of previous experience, are often taken as harbingers of more frequent extremes in the global warming-influenced future. However, a recent reconstruction of spring-summer temperatures for WE resulted in the likelihood of significantly higher temperatures in 1540. In order to check the plausibility of this result we investigated the severity of the 1540 drought by putting forward the argument of the known soil desiccation-temperature feedback. Based on more than 300 first-hand documentary weather report sources originating from an area of 2 to 3 million km2, we show that Europe was affected by an unprecedented 11-month-long Megadrought. The estimated number of precipitation days and precipitation amount for Central and Western Europe in 1540 is significantly lower than the 100-year minima of the instrumental measurement period for spring, summer and autumn. This result is supported by independent documentary evidence about extremely low river flows and Europe-wide wild-, forest- and settlement fires. We found that an event of this severity cannot be simulated by state-of-the-art climate models. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Gabioud Rebeaud S.,Agroscope Research Station ACW | Maurer A.,Agroscope Research Station ACW | Cotter P.Y.,Agroscope Research Station ACW | Baumgartner D.,Agroscope Research Station ACW | Christen D.,Agroscope Research Station ACW
Acta Horticulturae

The influence of two storage temperatures (1 and 8°C), 1-MCP, modified atmosphere (MA) and controlled atmosphere (CA) was evaluated on quality (firmness, acidity, TSS and skin colour), incidence of decay and aroma profiles of 'Goldrich' apricots. Although storing fruit under MA and CA at 1°C better prevented fruit softening, 1-MCP treatment was more effective to limit the incidence of decay. Firmness losses were better reduced by 1-MCP treatment when fruit were stored under regular atmosphere (RA), but this effect was not observed as storage time increased. Regarding storage under MA, accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) inside the Xtend® packaging induced internal browning disorders. Aroma profiles of stored fruit clearly differed from those at harvest. For fruit stored under RA, similar volatiles patterns were observed. MA at 1 and 8°C influenced the aroma production, which was discriminated from the other storage conditions. Source

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