Home / News / World /  Rising global temperatures will reduce coffee production, warns scientists

The much loved beverage, the pick-me up for the every so busy generation- Coffee could get more expensive if the global temperatures keep rising. A new research has shown that climate obstacles that reduce the production of coffee has become more frequent than ever, thereby affecting coffee plantation in Africa and Asia. 

The study, published in the journal PLOS Climate, found that the frequency of “climate hazards" – suboptimal growing conditions due to extremes such as high temperatures – had increased in every region during that period. Five of the six most hazardous years occurred between 2010 and 2020, according to a Guardian report. 

The optimal growing temperatures for the two major coffee varieties, arabica and robusta, are 18 to 22C and 22 to 28C.

The researchers found that between 1980 and 2020, growing regions were more prone to experiencing too-cold temperatures. “The current climate, however, is characterised by too-hot conditions in every region," they found, adding that “the vast majority of coffee regions never experience too-cold growing season temperatures".

For the top 12 coffee producing countries of the world, the research comes after previous research stating that the amount of land suitable for coffee cultivation globally could halve by 2050 due to climate change.

The research has also analysed the impact of six different climate change effect on coffee plantation. El Niño-Southern Oscillation (Enso) being one of them. The El Niño is one of the most significant climate fluctation the Earth witnesses every year. 

El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, including the area off the Pacific coast of South America.

“During El Niño events, we see a greater chance of conditions being too hot or too dry, and it’s roughly the reverse for La Niña," Guardian quoted one of the head researcher. 

Though El Niño has global effects, it seems to have less of an impact in southern Brazil, the world’s largest grower for arabica beans. “It’s fortunate that it’s less affected by Enso," the researcher said. “What we hope is that during El Niño events, suppliers from southern Brazil might be able to offset reductions [in crop] elsewhere."

The researchers found, “Major arabica regions in the far southeast of Brazil and southwest Ethiopia are amongst the least susceptible regions to climate hazards."

The 12 top coffee growers account for about 90% of global production. These include Brazil, Peru and Mexico in the Americas; Uganda and Ethiopia in Africa; and Vietnam and Indonesia in south-east Asia.


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