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Global warming could empty your coffee pot

Trouble is brewing in the coffee industry.

Coffee regions will be heavily affected by global warming, meaning big producers in Latin America could see their crops depleted by as much as 88% by 2050.

Researchers at the University of Vermont projected these numbers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal on Monday.

Coffee beans thrive in cooler, mountainous regions, but the anticipated rise in temperature means areas like Nicaragua, Honduras and Venezuela could see declines in sustainability for coffee-production.

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“Coffee provides the main income for millions of the rural poor, so yield declines would affect the livelihoods of those already vulnerable people,” said study co-author Taylor Ricketts in a statement.

The news isn’t all bad. With careful planning, scientists can identify areas where temperatures, though rising, will remain within suitable levels for coffee growth.

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Coffee needs shady and cooler temperatures to thrive, but global warming could mean harsher, hotter climates in the next three decades.

(andresr/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The researchers also identified where bees would thrive in number and diversity, aiding in coffee production as well as the growth of shady trees that will keep these areas cool.

In the end, the researchers pointed to mountainous areas of Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Costa Rica, which could be prime locations for expanded coffee production.

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The study authors say the projections are necessary in planning ahead, to conserve current tropical forest land, prioritize farming practices that sustain current coffee production climates and increase bee habitats where bee populations are expected to decrease and in future coffee production areas.

Ethiopia is facing a similar issue with reduced coffee production due to global warming. Too much sun has led to dry areas in which coffee production is increasingly difficult.

Tags:
featured lifestyle
climate change
coffee

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