Coffee production has taken a major turn for the worse due to global warming resulting in climate changes in growing regions. If the trend continues, the coffee available to feed the world’s increasing coffee fix will not meet the demand, including for coffee gluttons in the U.S..
Damaging climate changes in Brazil have resulted in extreme crop damages from increasing pests and frost. Brazile represents over 50 percent of the world’s Arabica bean supply the highest quality bean available.
Higher temperatures are causing the coffee berries to ripen more quickly harming bean quality.Pests, once foreign to higher altitude growing areas have become the most significant problem due to the warm temperatures. Coffee plant disease called coffee rust has spread into all regions where Arabica beans are grown. Historically coffee farmers in South and Central America were insulated from the disease because coffee plants in the Americas are grown in the cool mountains, where temperatures weren’t warm enough to be suitable for the plant. But in the 1970s, the first cases of coffee rust reached Brazil, and increasing temperatures and rainfall caused by climate change have allowed the fungus to live at higher altitudes.
The world’s foremost climate science group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will include the effect of warming on coffee as part of a landmark report published next Monday on the global impacts of climate change. It is expected to conclude that the overall predictions are for a reduction in area suitable for coffee production by 2050 in all countries studied. In many cases, the area suitable for production would decrease considerably with increases of temperature of only 2.0-2.5C.
Jeff Newman represents whistleblowers