Thanks to global warming, your morning cup of coffee could be a lot more pricey in the years to come. Researchers have estimated that climate change could reduce coffee growing areas in Latin America — the world’s largest coffee-producing region — by as much as 88 per cent by 2050.
The study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) offers climate change’s projected impacts on coffee, and the bees that help coffee to grow.
“Coffee is one of the most valuable commodities on earth, and needs a suitable climate and pollinating bees to produce well,” said study co-author Taylor Ricketts, Professor at University of Vermont in the US.
“This is the first study to show how both will likely change under global warming – in ways that will hit coffee producers hard,” Ricketts said.
While other research has explored climate-coffee scenarios, no other study has explored the coupled effects of climate change on coffee and bees at the national or continental scale.
The study was conducted with advanced modelling, spatial analysis and field data.
It forecasts much greater losses of coffee regions than previous global assessments, with the largest declines projected in Nicaragua, Honduras and Venezuela.
“Coffee provides the main income for millions of the rural poor, so yield declines would affect the livelihoods of those already vulnerable people,” Ricketts said.
The scientists projected a slight increase in coffee suitability in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Costa Rica, mainly in mountainous areas where temperatures are expected to support coffee growing and more robust bee populations.