Climate change is having a huge impact on coffee production around the globe. On this page, we are going to take a little look at climate change effects on coffee production.
Coffee is, of course, a plant. Plants learn to adapt to the environment that they grow in. Over the years, coffee producers have worked hard to ensure that the coffee plants that they use are some of the best around. They want plants which are able to give the best possible yields. The problem is, the plants do not adapt to change all that well. It takes years. Just a small increase in temperature can drastically change the amount of coffee that particular plant is able to produce. Lower yields mean less profit for the growers. This means that they have to turn to alternate methods to boost their overall growth yield, which can lead to huge problems for the environment.
It isn’t just temperature change, either. The weather is becoming a lot more unpredictable. In the past, it would be fairly easy to predict when the extreme weather is going to hit. This is no longer possible. Coffee crops are being hit by rainfall events out of season. This, again, is going to have a drastic impact on the yield of the crop. In fact, in recent years, the amount of coffee produced by India has dropped by 30%. This is due to severe climate change. Indians crops, at the time of writing, do not show any sign of recovering.
Vietnam, the second biggest coffee producer in the world, has also been impacted, albeit in a slightly different way. Instead of receiving uncharacteristic rain, they are going through a prolonged period of drought. This means that there is not enough water to keep their crops thriving. In addition to this, the average temperature for the country has plummeted in recent years. The plants are not able to adapt to this, with many of them dying off or just not producing the coffee that is needed.
In Central America, a disease called ‘leaf rust’ has hit crops. Nobody actually knows what kick-started this trend, however many scientists seem to be in agreement that leaf rust has spread so rapidly due to climate change. While this condition has yet to leave Central America, it is only a short time before it starts to impact crops around the globe, causing even more coffee shortages.
Of course, all of this has an impact on the end consumer. Those who consume coffee on a regular basis will have probably noticed that the prices of their favorite drink have risen sharply over the past few years. This is because coffee is becoming increasingly harder to get hold of. Since yields are lower, producers are having to charge top dollar in order to make their money back on it. This is likely to continue for many, many years to come. Things are only going to get worse from here on out.