Sep 28 2016
Your Morning Latte is Seriously in Trouble
Climate change poses a severe threat to the world's coffee supply.
Photo credit: Mitch Altman  via Creative Commons
September 28, 2016
Your Morning Latte is Seriously in Trouble

Category

Climate, Food

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.

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A coffee farmer inspects his crop in Colombia’s southwestern Cauca department. Photo credit: CIAT/Creative Commons

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.

In addition, the report highlights the way warmer weather could lead to an increase in diseases like coffee rust, and pests like the coffee berry borer.

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.

 

 

Climate change poses a severe threat to the world's coffee supply.
Photo credit: Mitch Altman  via Creative Commons