So, Coffee is On the Brink of Extinction

Unless we start taking climate change seriously.

top view of espresso pot and coffee cup

Hold onto your lattes, people – we’ve got news more devastating than discovering your favourite barista has decided to take Mondays off.

Researchers have uncovered damning evidence that suggest that by 2050, the amount of farmland appropriate for growing coffee will halve, due to rising temperatures, pests and fungi. Not only that, but by 2080, wild coffee isn’t expected to exist. At all. (Cue global panic).

The imminent extinction has a few causes, linked to global warming. Coffea Arabica for example, which accounts for 70 per cent of the coffee grown globally, requires cooler climates, meaning coffee farmers are having to move to higher ground to source lower temperatures in order to maintain their crops (this additionally causes deforestation, which also isn’t great). Rising global temperatures have also caused an increase of pests that devastate the coffee crop in areas that weren’t previously desirable for them. The coffee berry borer for example, an insect that causes US$500 million worth of damage per year, couldn’t previously thrive in an area above 5,000 above sea level but since the 2000, has expanded its reach by more than 1000 feet in some areas thanks to unusually warmer weather.

But while this news obviously has a profound impact on your personal plight for sanity, there’s a much wider and more terrifying implication for the world’s shrinking coffee resources.

Currently, there are 120 million people who depend on the production of coffee for their livelihood and the majority of those are from some of the poorest nations on Earth. As is stands, there are 70 countries, including Vietnam, Colombia, Brazil and Indonesia, that produce coffee and the industry remains a central part of their economies.

If these new findings don’t force you to wake up and smell the coffee, we don’t know what will –maybe it’s time to consider carbon neutral living after all.

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