Rising temperatures in tropics to lead to lower coffee yields and higher prices, study suggests

Sat, 25 Mar 2023 22:34:29 +1100

Andrew Pam <xanni [at] glasswings.com.au>

Andrew Pam

"Climate conditions that reduce coffee yield have become more frequent over the
past four decades, with rising temperatures from global heating likely to lead
to “ongoing systemic shocks” to coffee production globally, new research

Researchers analysed the impacts of climate factors such as temperature,
rainfall and humidity in the top 12 coffee-producing countries globally between
1980 and 2020.

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.

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

The study’s lead author, Dr Doug Richardson, who completed the research while
at the CSIRO, said the shift from cool and wet to hot and dry conditions “we’re
pretty confident is a result of climate change”.

The researchers wrote: “With climate change projections showing a continued
rise in temperatures in the tropics is likely, we suggest that coffee
production can expect ongoing systemic shocks.”

“As with other crops, a systemic risk to the global coffee trade is posed by
synchronised crop failures,” they added.

Previous research has shown the amount of land suitable for coffee cultivation
globally could halve by 2050 due to climate change."

       *** Xanni ***
mailto:xanni@xanadu.net               Andrew Pam
http://xanadu.com.au/                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu
https://glasswings.com.au/            Partner, Glass Wings
https://sericyb.com.au/               Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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