Climate Change May Diminish the Coffee Production

Most likely, coffee lovers would not want to hear this, but scientists indicate that global warming can diminish the coffee production. Scientists and policymakers around the world are trying to prepare to face the terrible effects of climate change. In the tropics, the populations of bees have been affected by rising temperatures while rainfall patterns modify. We all know that bees are useful to pollinate several commercial crops. Without bees, the food industries around the world would be affected. Many crops could fail, especially coffee.

The coffee industry may be severely affected by the effects of global warming. Therefore, big coffee producers in Latin America could suffer due to the depletion of coffee crops. Statistics indicate that many coffee crops in Latin America will be depleted by 88% by 20150.

On September 11, researchers at the University of Vermont developed a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. Specialists indicate that coffee beans thrive in cooler regions, preferably mountainous ones. However, the anticipated rise in temperature indicates that regions like Venezuela, Honduras, and Nicaragua could face serious declines when it comes to coffee production.

Drinking coffee is more valuable than you think

Taylor Ricketts, the co-author of the study, claims that in the rural poor regions, coffee provides the main income for millions of people. Therefore, a decline in the coffee production would affect the livelihoods of individuals leaving in the rural regions.

However, the situation may not be as terrible as it may seem. Researchers indicate that careful planning can help local people identify areas with appropriate temperatures for coffee crops. Even if the temperatures are still rising, there are mountainous regions where coffee can thrive.

A new study developed by a Smithsonian scientist published on September 11, 2017, indicates details about the future of tropical bees. The coffee crops depend on these bees to get pollinated. David Roubik is an entomologist and staff scientist for ecology, behavior, and evolution at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

He indicates that previous warnings regarding the idea that tropical bees are doomed is a big mistake. Roubik and an international team of bee experts used an improved modeling method that includes more data that accounts for topography. In this way, they revealed that there is a chance for tropical bees in Panama to pollinate coffee crops, despite the global warming effects.

Coffee will soon turn into a luxury due to climate change

Researchers also revealed areas where bees would thrive in diversity and number, boosting coffee production and the growth of shady trees. In this way, these areas will remain cool. Scientists pointed to mountainous regions in Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico. These may be used as main locations for coffee production.

Nevertheless, study authors indicate that they need to develop plans to conserve current tropical forest land. The plans will also help them develop more bee habitats in areas where bee populations are expected to diminish. Researchers’ projections will prioritize farming practices which support current coffee production climates.

Apparently, global warming has also affected Ethiopia. This region experiences similar problems when it comes to diminished coffee production caused by climate change. Rising temperatures led to the occurrence of more dry areas where coffee production is almost impossible. Bees, the most important pollinators, play a significant role in the production of coffee beans.

A bee on a flower

The reduction of bee population can trigger a severely affect the coffee production.

Image Source

Global warming will diminish the coffee production

Therefore, climate change may diminish the global coffee production. In this way, coffee may turn into a luxury since global warming may empty our coffee cups. Taylor Ricketts also indicates that bees are responsible for 20 to 25% of coffee production due to the fact that they increase the plants’ yield. Bees do not only contribute to the production of coffee beans, but they can also determine their quality, making their size uniform.

Scientists predicted the fact that climate change will certainly jeopardize agriculture in many ways, but they try to come up with a useful solution to prevent the diminishing of coffee production. Ricketts also indicates that bees have different tolerances when it comes to heat. For instances, a bee at the edge of heat tolerance will not go to pollinate coffee in warmer areas.

Climate change will increase the size of uncultivated land, triggering a massive shrink in the size of lands appropriate for agriculture. Therefore, more coffee growing areas will supper a reduction in the number of bee species. However, approximately 16% of these areas will face more diversity. In some places, climate change may have opposite effects on bee diversity and ground suitability.

Farmers can use some strategies to avoid coffee production reduction

Researchers indicate that about 34-51% of areas will no longer be as suitable for growing coffee as they are now. The good news is that these regions will face more bee diversity, offsetting the losses of farmers. Ricketts argues that this study is not about a luxury product, namely coffee. The main thing here is that its reduction will destroy the agriculture, leaving millions of people without a job.

There are so many people earning their living working at small farms in rural areas. There is more at stake than just having the right coffee production to keep the whole world awake every morning. If climate change will affect the production of coffee, it is certain that the price of coffee will rise and only a few people will afford it.

To reduce the terrible effect of climate change on coffee farmers, specialists should concentrate on supporting wild bees habitats in coffee-growing regions. Another useful idea is to grow coffee plants under shade trees. More and more farmers need to consider planting shade trees to save the coffee production. These trees will both provide habitats for wild bees and maintain the coffee beans cool.

Summing up

If we still want to enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the morning, policymakers and researchers should hurry to find a solution. Global warming can diminish the coffee production, and this will not only affect coffee lovers. Many farmers will remain without a job due to the decreased size of cultivated land. Global warming may severely affect the coffee production while the number of pollinators will diminish.

Image Source: Pixabay

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William E. Eubanks

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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