Coffee is Under Threat from Climate Change, Could Go Extinct in Decades

#Food

Fri, Nov 9th, 2012 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

I know, I know, nobody gives a shit about global warming, but perhaps this will be a wake-up call: according to a study by researchers from Kew Gardens, the popular Arabica beans could face extinction within decades due to rising global temperatures and subtle changes in seasonal conditions. Reportedly, by 2080, 99.7 per cent of current Arabica-growing areas will become unsuitable.

Although commercial growers could still grow their own crops by watering and artificially cooling them, the wild type has much greater genetic diversity which is essential to help plantations overcome threats like pests and disease.

Identifying new sites where arabica could be grown away from its natural home in the mountains of Ethiopia and South Sudan could be the only way of preventing the demise of the species, researchers said.

Justin Moat, one of the report's authors, said: "The worst case scenario, as drawn from our analyses, is that wild Arabica could be extinct by 2080. This should alert decision makers to the fragility of the species."

Arabica is one of only two species of bean used to make coffee and is by far the most popular, accounting for 70 per cent of the global market including almost all fresh coffee sold in high street chains and supermarkets in the US and most of Europe.

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