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A World Without Coffee

A World Without Coffee

Americans love coffee. Over half of us drink it daily, with at least another 25 percent drinking it occasionally. Our love for coffee is the stuff of internet memes and expensive habits. Many of us can’t imagine starting the day without a hot fragrant cup of joe. Deny us our cuppa, and all manner of irritable personalities emerge.

We’ll go to all sorts of ridiculous lengths for our coffee, which is why a new study by Kew Gardens is particularly troubling: climate change could cause the world-famous Arabica coffee bean to be extinct by 2080.

According to the Guardian, “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.”

The study, which was published in the Public Library of Science ONE journal, used multiple computer modeling simulations to predict what might happen to coffee crops in various climate change scenarios. They found that at the very least 65 percent of locations where arabica is currently grown will become unsuitable by 2080,while the most extreme model predicted almost 100 percent extinction. “In some areas, such as the Boma Plateau in South Sudan, the demise could come as early as 2020, based on the low flowering rate and poor health of current crops,” points out the Guardian.

Think about that for a second: A world without coffee.

Say goodbye to your precious grande skinny hazelnut lattes and bottomless house blends. Coffee would most likely become so expensive it would become like a second currency, traded on black markets by red eyed caffeine-junkies in wrinkled business suits!

All joking aside, this is just one of many consequences unchecked climate change will have on society. Even if the computer models are wrong, and coffee doesn’t disappear completely, the yield size and taste will never be the same again. Perhaps if people don’t find sea level rise, extreme heat and violent storms compelling enough, the thought of never again tasting a perfect espresso will motivate them into taking action.

Related Reading:

6 Reasons Coffee Isn’t So Bad For You After All

Climate Change Might Put The World’s Coffee Supply At Risk

Top 5 Reasons To Drink A Cup Of Tea

 

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182 comments

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5:48AM PST on Feb 18, 2013

I cant live without coffee.

5:44PM PST on Feb 14, 2013

I can't live whitout coffee!! C'mon, people, wake up!!!

8:26PM PST on Dec 28, 2012

The computer studies indicate that the locations where coffee is currently growing are going to become unsuitable in the not too distant future.

What I find very interesting is that no one is looking to relocate where coffee is grown in the future. I find it very hard to believe that there will not be new locations where this profitable crop can be grown. It does not take that many years for coffee plants to become productive so I would think that research would be going on to project what areas might be best suited for coffee production in the future.

I think we have already gone past the point of no return and we need to be adjusting to live with the damage that we have caused to this planet. Reducing our carbon footprint I hope will reverse this eventually but not in our lifetime.

Going forward we need to reduce the earth population because we will not be able to grow as much food and many of the populated areas are going to be underwater or subject to repeated flooding.

6:46PM PST on Dec 21, 2012

Oh I really can't live without coffee. Save our earth please, so that we can still enjoy coffee.

5:49AM PST on Dec 21, 2012

Noted!

7:57AM PST on Dec 20, 2012

haha Patricia L thats what I said!

If I'm still alive, I'll be 92... so not having coffee could be my inevitable cause of death. This is sad.

6:26PM PST on Dec 19, 2012

2080---Thank Goddess I'll be dead by then....so long losers!

2:41PM PST on Dec 19, 2012

Maybe we'll get lucky and coffee will go extinct tomorrow instead! That would be excellent.

2:31PM PST on Dec 19, 2012

Of course, we have to try to save the environment and the climate (for as far as climate change is caused by humans), but there is absolutely no certainty coffee will become extinct because of the climate. Maybe they read the future in coffee grounds :-D?
I am afraid it is pretty certain I will not be around in 2080.

2:29PM PST on Dec 14, 2012

I guess we should enjoy it while it lasts.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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