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The Effects of Climate Change on Coffee

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At this point, the threat of climate change to the environment is well known. While there are still some climate change deniers out there, most scientists agree that climate change presents a serious danger to the ecosystem. If you’re a coffee drinker, it’s only natural to wonder, “Well, what about coffee?” What kind of danger does climate change present to places where coffee is grown and to the coffee crop itself? Read on to discover some answers to these all-important questions.

Does Climate Change Hurt Coffee Growth?

Without question, the answer to the question of whether or not climate change hurts coffee growth is yes. Extended rains, higher temperatures, droughts, infestations, and disease are all features of the environment that are on the rise, believed by many to be due to climate change, and these features can brutally affect crops, including coffee. Coffee growers are responding by clearing more forest and going higher up mountains to get their coffee beans, but this is hardly a sustainable solution.

Climate Change and Areas of Coffee Growth

Sadly, it seems that in Latin America where coffee growth was once abundant, many coffee plantations are being threatened by unprecedented changes in climate. Higher temperatures and changing tropical weather patterns have brought debilitating “Coffee Rust” fungus to coffee plantations throughout Latin America. Three years of non-stop rain in Colombia has obliterated the Colombia coffee crop. Recently, Brazilian coffee prices exploded thanks to a major drought. Some experts predict that in the future, Latin America may lose its ability to be a major exporter of coffee beans entirely, shifting the bulk of coffee production to Asia. Those looking to Africa for coffee production will find no better news, as the warming climate could potentially reduce the number of regions in Africa for growing coffee to zero.

The Future of Coffee and Climate Change

If climate change is allowed to continue unchecked, the future of coffee looks surprisingly bleak. Coffee experts refer to the coffee plant as a “Goldilocks plant,” meaning it needs conditions to be just right for it to thrive. Climate change offers the exact opposite; rapidly shifting and extreme conditions that could make it hard for even the hardiest crops to flourish. One expert even wondered if coffee will still exist in as few as six years.

What Coffee Drinkers Can Do to Help

While that is an extreme position, we can certainly expect coffee prices to rise and the scarcity of certain coffee blends to increase over the next few years, due to climate change and other factors. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help ward off this catastrophe. For starters, you can buy Fair Trade coffee from growers and distributors that favor sustainable, green methods of growing, producing, and distributing your coffee. You can also petition the government to take climate change seriously, and to enforce standards that will help heal the atmosphere and turn back the climate change effects of our carbon footprints. Close to 200 million people drink coffee in the United States alone. If all those people unite to make their voices heard about the perils of climate change, action will have to be taken. If coffee drinkers don’t speak up to protect the environment, your favorite beverage could be one of the first casualties. In the meantime, you can find all kinds of great coffee, including Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Island Coconut K-Cups, at Join us in the fight to keep providing great coffee to everyone who loves it, and order some of your favorites from us today.

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