Climate change adaptation research among vine growers: evidence from Mátra wine region

Király, Gábor (2023) Climate change adaptation research among vine growers: evidence from Mátra wine region. PhD thesis, Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem, Gazdálkodástani Doktori Iskola. DOI

PDF : (dissertation)
PDF : (draft in English)
PDF : (az értekezés tézisei magyar nyelven)


This research contributes to the intensively growing climate change adaptation discourse with the examination of vine growers’ risk perception and risk management practices. In studies dealing with agricultural climate change adaptation issues, it is an often-cited statement that farming is a dynamic system that continuously responds to changing conditions. Such changing conditions are seen as risks induced by either climate change or other sources. This research systematically assessed these risks as a network of interrelated concepts, adopting a partially mixed sequential dominant research design, in which a quantitative research segment (a large sample of survey data) outlined the overall picture of Hungarian farmers' perceptions of climate change and adaptation behaviour and then an individual-based mental modelling approach was used to conduct a risk elicitation exercise embedded in qualitative interviews with vine growers. Despite the participants' diverse and complex mental models, the presence of a double pressure stood out from the results: one from the risks posed by the impacts of climate change, and another from the risks related to labour. The most obvious consequence of labour-related problems is that fewer and fewer people are willing and able to work in viticulture, which is a very labour-intensive activity. And risks that come with climate change, such as severe heat stress, lengthy droughts, and excessive UV radiation, will likely pose severe challenges for grape cultivation. Although the interaction of these two types of risks generates significant adaptation needs by exerting effects that should be addressed by a complex risk management approach, participants’ responses do not reflect this complexity. More precisely, participants’ responses indicate that in their multi-faceted risk landscape, labour-related risks have a greater influence on their risk management decisions than climate change related risks. This is well reflected in the evidence that their adaptation decisions have been focused on long-term solutions to labor-related problems, but only short-term decisions characterise their climate change adaptation behaviour. Despite all their perceived climate change related risks, participants still find themselves able to maintain their activities and keep cultivating grapes. This is because, on the one hand, climate risks are still seen as manageable with the available solutions, which consist primarily of tactical interventions. However, on the other hand, there appears to be considerable uncertainty regarding what should be done and how it should be done, so even these tactical interventions are surrounded by uncertainty. Multiple forms of uncertainty have been identified in this research, suggesting that if the climate situation worsens, the adaptive capacity of participants might be insufficient to cope with changes in climatic conditions.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD thesis)
Supervisor:Tóth József
ID Code:1296
Date:3 October 2023
Deposited On:23 Mar 2023 13:31
Last Modified:06 Nov 2023 13:31

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