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Climate Change + No Coffee = A Grumpier World

By: , Posted on: September 13, 2016

coffee-cup
Source: Pixabay

Coffee.  The quintessential morning beverage that gets us going in the morning. It’s one of the most consumed beverages in the world.  It’s a medium to bring people together and converse.  What would life be without coffee? For one thing, it would take a whole lot longer for people to wake up in the morning and possibly a lot grumpier as well.  However, this reality isn’t too far off.

In a recent article by The Independent, coffee could become extinct by 2080. That’s not a typo, you read correctly; EXTINCT. All this is possibly due to climate change. Recently coffee growers have come upon two challenges that have hindered coffee growth and could create a shortage of coffee in the near future.

First, due to significant rain in certain areas along with higher temperatures, coffee plants have been infected with Coffee Leaf Rust.  It’s a type of fungus basically turns the leaf a rust color and eats away at the leaf, the source of taking in sunshine and absorbing water for the plant to grow.

coffee-leaf-rust
Coffee Leaf Rust. Source: Wikimedia

The second challenge growers are dealing with are the Coffee Berry Borer. It’s a tiny little beetle that bores its way in the coffee berry, colonizes it, and lays its eggs. The beetles are drawn to the recent hotter and wetter conditions where normally cooler and drier areas that the coffee plant thrives. According the article, researchers are predicting that half of the suitable farmland for coffee will be gone by 2050. Again, should conditions continue the way they are, by 2080 the world will be left without coffee.

coffee-berry-borer
Coffee Berry Borer. Source: Wikimedia

However, there is small silver lining to all this.  In an article from Scientific American, farmers in Central America traded/supplemented their coffee crops with cocoa. The good news is that the cocoa plant is native to the region, so even with the climate changing, it’s not going to have a huge effect on the plant as it did with the coffee.  As an added benefit, cocoa is cheaper to grow which can translate to higher profits.

So perhaps we may not have a grumpier world when there could possibly be more chocolate in it? What do you think? Subscribe and leave your comments below!

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