Coffee is one of the most popular beverages globally, with millions of people consuming it daily. While many people may understand that coffee comes from the coffee plant, few know the intricate details of coffee production or how climate change is affecting it.
Coffee, like many other crops, is highly sensitive to changes in temperature and rainfall patterns. Unfortunately, climate change is causing a significant disruption to coffee production globally. According to a report by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), climate change is causing increasing systemic shocks to coffee production globally, which could lead to significant economic losses and even threaten global coffee production.
One of the main effects of climate change on coffee production is suboptimal growing conditions becoming more frequent. The optimal temperatures for arabica and robusta coffee varieties are being exceeded in every region, which could worsen with climate change. This results in coffee plants producing less fruit, which leads to lower yields and lower quality coffee.
In addition to the direct effects of temperature changes, coffee growers also face the risk of synchronous crop failures, leading to supply shortages and price increases. This is because coffee crops are highly concentrated in specific regions and countries, making them susceptible to weather events such as droughts, heatwaves, and floods.
Coffee is a significant contributor to the economies of coffee-producing regions, but climate change may significantly affect the land where it is cultivated. There are 12 identified climate hazards that threaten coffee crops, and the number of these hazards is increasing in every coffee-growing region. These hazards include rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and increased pest and disease pressure.
More research is needed to identify adaptations that can mitigate global coffee crop failures, which pose systemic risk to the global coffee trade. Unfortunately, the world’s largest coffee-growing countries are experiencing synchronous climate hazards, indicating a global climate dilemma. This means that there is a significant risk of global coffee production being reduced due to climate change.
Human-caused climate change is identified as a significant factor in the ongoing crises facing coffee growers. The use of fossil fuels and other greenhouse gas-emitting activities is causing a further increase in temperatures, which is further exacerbating the already challenging conditions for coffee production.
Climate change poses a significant threat to coffee production globally, leading to increased supply shortages, price hikes, and economic loss. It is vital that governments, coffee producers, and consumers work together to identify solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change on coffee production. The future of coffee production and the livelihoods of millions of people depend on it.