A worrying new report, especially for coffee lovers, suggests that global warming could cause coffee production to plunge in the coming decades.
Global warming and climate change will greatly affect regions that produce coffee, causing production of the greatly loved bean to drop precipitously in the coming decades. Researchers at the University of Vermont predict that big producers of coffee in Latin America will see crops decline by a staggering 88 percent by 2050.
The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that rising temperatures will cause areas like Nicaragua, Honduras, and Venezuela to see great declines in their ability to grow coffee beans in the cooler, mountainous regions. That’s a big problem for those countries, as they heavily rely on income from coffee to provide income for millions of poor people in rural areas.
The study also provides some helpful information on how scientists can use data to identify areas where temperatures will remain within suitable levels to grow coffees, allowing them to help coffee companies plan for the changes and adjust accordingly. They would also be able to identify areas where bees would thrive, which would boost coffee production.
“Coffee is one of the most valuable commodities on earth, and needs a suitable climate and pollinating bees to produce well,” says Taylor Ricketts, director of the University of Vermont’s (UVM) Gund Institute for Environment and study co-author. “This is the first study to show how both will likely change under global warming – in ways that will hit coffee producers hard.”