Whether served up like art at a high-end coffee bar or sloshed into a paper cup at the corner bodega, New Yorkers drink a lot of coffee. In this city, thousands of independent shops go toe-to-toe with Starbucks without flinching, and we even have our very own annual Coffee Festival.
But the city that never sleeps may soon face a caffeine shortage (along with the rest of the world), thanks to our inability to curb carbon emissions. A new report released by the nonprofit Climate Institute indicates that climate change will have a stark effect on the world’s coffee supply.
The study warns that coffee-growing regions could see a 50% drop in the acreage suitable for growing coffee plants, which need a precise combination of temperature and precipitation to thrive.
Major coffee-producing countries in the “bean belt”—including Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Ethiopia, and Vietnam—are already facing challenges because of shifts in weather patterns.
To make matters worse, more than 120 million people in more than 70 countries rely on the coffee industry for their livelihoods.
“It’s a severe threat,” said Doug Welsh, the vice president of coffee at Peet’s Coffee and a member of the board of World Coffee Research.
Think about that next time you brew up your morning buzz.
Photo credit: Mitch Altman via Creative Commons