Global warming will lead to beer, coffee shortage, scientists say

Beer Climate Change

Climate change could cause beer prices to soar - study

On top of rising sea levels and extreme weather, scientists have predicted that human-caused climate change will result in another dire outcome: a disruption in the global beer supply.

A new study says global warming may leave people crying in their costlier beer.

"Decreases in the global supply of barley lead to proportionally larger decreases in barley used to make beer", said lead author Dabo Guan, a professor of climate change economics and the University of East Anglia in Britain.

Here's a reason for climate-change sceptics to rethink their resistance: The erratic and extreme droughts and heat caused by climate change are leading to a shortage of beer and a spurt in prices of the popular alcoholic beverage, a study has shown. During the extreme climate events, prices for a 500-milliliter bottle, slightly more than a pint, in Ireland will rise from about $2.50 to $5.00.

Moreover, some countries produce more beer barley than others. So now they're telling us we can't even have a burger to go with that beer. A decrease in the global supply of barley leads to a dramatic regional decrease in beer consumption and an increase in beer prices.

The next step was to estimate how these "barley supply shocks" would affect the production and price of beer in each region.

Researchers used a series of climate and economic models to predict the effect on barley crops of extreme weather produced by climate change.

They then examined the effects of the resulting barley supply shock on the supply and price of beer in each region under a range of future climate scenarios.

In some small countries, such as Ireland, Estonia and the Czech Republic, the price will really spike under climate change, with a predicted drop in per capita consumption of 75% in Ireland alone, he said. But some scientists and economists have also begun looking into what Guan's team calls "luxury essentials": Nonessential items many people say they can not live without, such as beer, coffee or chocolate.

In 2018, it appears science is proposing a new way the world ends - not just with climate change, but also with a lack of beer.

Only 17 per cent of the globe's barley is actually used in brewing; most is harvested as feed for livestock.

Beer joins other "luxury products" like coffee and wine that may be severely impacted by climate change.

These extreme weather events are expected to occur as often as every two or three years in the second half of the century if we stay on the current climate trajectory, the report said.

"There is little doubt that, for millions of people, around the world, the climate impacts of beer will add insult to injury".

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