Climate Change to Kill Coffee and Avocados (Again) – Are you up for it?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Do they never get tired of being wrong?

Coffee could become scarcer and more expensive due to climate change – new study

January 28, 2022 12.27 am AEDT

Denis J Murphy
Professor of Biotechnology, Head of Research in Computational Biology & Genomics, University of South Wales

The world could lose half of its best coffee land in a moderate climate change scenario. Brazil, currently the world’s largest coffee producer, will see the acreage of their most suitable coffee growing area decrease by 79%.

It was an important finding of a new research by scientists in Switzerland, who have assessed the potential impact of climate change on coffee, cashews and avocados. All three are important globally traded crops produced mainly by small-scale farmers in the tropics.

Coffee is by far the most important with an expected revenue of US$460 billion (£344 billion) by 2022, while the figures for avocados and cashews are $13 billion and $6 billion, respectively. While coffee is primarily used as a stimulant, avocados and cashews are widely consumed food crops that are high in monounsaturated vegetable oils and others. beneficial nutrients

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Summary of the study;

Projected global relevance of coffee, cashews and avocados due to climate change

Roman Grüter, Tim Trachsel, Patrick Laube, Isabel Jaisli

Published: January 26, 2022

Coffee, cashew and avocado are of high socioeconomic importance in many small tropical farming systems around the globe. As a plant with a long life span, growing requires a long-term plan. Therefore, an assessment of the effects of climate change on their biophysical suitability is essential for the development of adaptation measures and the selection of suitable cultivars or crops. In this study, we modeled the current and future suitability of arabica, cashew and avocado coffee on a global scale based on the climate and soil requirements of three crops. We used the climate outputs of 14 global circulation models based on three emission scenarios to model the impacts of future climate change (2050) on crops across the globe. globally and in the main producing countries. For all three crops, climatic factors, mainly long dry season, mean temperature (high and low), low minimum temperature and annual rainfall (high and low), limited For the global range of suitable growing zones are soil and soil parameters, which are mainly low soil pH, unfavorable soil texture and steep slopes. We found variation in suitable growing zones due to climate change with both future expansion and contraction for all crops investigated. Coffee proved to be the most vulnerable, as negative climate impacts prevail in all major producing regions. For both cashews and avocados, areas suitable for cultivation are expected to expand globally while in most of the major producing countries the most suitable areas are likely to decline. Research shows that adaptation to climate change is needed in most of the major producing regions of all three crops. However, at high latitudes and high altitudes, they can both benefit from a minimal increase in temperature. The study presents the first global assessment of the effects of climate change on the suitability of cashew and avocado crops.

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The claim that Avocado, Coffee, and Cashew cultivation is limited in any sense is a myth.

First, there are many South Andean plateaus that are currently too cold for such crops. Global warming will fix that.

In my hometown of Queensland, Avocados grow pretty much anywhere you plant your seeds, over a wide area of ​​land and a variety of climates.

I’m not too familiar with Cashews, but I’m willing to bet they’re also quite comfortable with a wide range of conditions.

As for coffee, in Australia we grow good coffee in the lowlands. Australia doesn’t have alpine regions on the scale of South America, East Africa or Indonesia, so we had to develop coffee varieties that can still produce a delicious beverage when grown at relatively low altitudes. . Guess what, after decades of effort, we succeeded.

No remotely reasonable level of global warming is likely to have any noticeable impact on the availability of staple crops globally, other than possibly a small change. in the field of cultivation.


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