Climate change could cripple world’s beer supply: study
Rising temperatures and increased drought due to climate change will likely deal a blow to the world’s beer supply, according to a study released on Monday.
The effects of climate change will gravely impact the growth of barley, a crop used predominantly to create beer, and in turn make it harder to produce the beverage and more expensive to buy, the study published in Nature Plants found.
An international team of researchers from China, Britain and the U.S. looked at how climate change would affect the crop over the next 80 years. Measuring the effects of concurrent drought and heat extremes, they estimated that climate change could result in average barley yield losses of 3 to 17 percent, depending on the condition’s severity.
The study additionally estimated that the decrease in barley availability would lead to dramatic decreases in beer availability in some regions. Researchers estimated that, as a result, beer consumption would drop around 32 percent in Argentina and prices could increase by more than 193 percent in Ireland.
The findings come a week after the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report that warned the world needs to decrease carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030 or else the atmosphere could hit 1.5 degrees of warming by then.
A major effect of the climate change, the report said, would be decreased crop yields.