Climate Change Could Lead to Global Beer Shortage, Study Finds

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 16, 2018

The researchers said that compared with life-threatening affects of global warming such as the floods and storms faced by millions, a beer shortage may seem relatively unimportant.

Barley growing regions including the northern Great Plains of the U.S., the Canadian prairies, Europe, Australia, and the Asian steppe were all likely to experience more frequent droughts in years to come as a result of global warming, the study in the journal Nature Plants reported.

Barley, the main ingredient in beer, is extremely sensitive to temperature and drought, and because humans have really fucked up the planet, it means the temperature is increasing which will lead to substantial decreases in barley crops.

The impact on beer prices could be gut-wrenching, the scientists have warned - and it'll be even worse in Ireland, with the price of a six pack shooting up £15.

The researchers found that beer consumption could fall by about a third in Ireland, Belgium, and the Czech Republic and by a quarter in the United Kingdom, while in China, the world's leading consumer of the beverage, it could fall by 9 percent.

"Future climate and pricing conditions could put the beer out of reach for hundreds of millions of people around the world", professor Steven Davis of the University of California, Irvine, who is also one of the authors of the study, told The Guardian.

Mr Guan said beer price spikes and shortages might even affect social stability, noting the prohibition era in the U.S. saw organised crime supplying illicit liquor.

"If you don't want that to happen-if you still want a few pints of beer-then the only way to do it is to mitigate climate change", said Guan.

At the same time, the "cross-cultural appreciation of beer" is deep and widespread, he noted.

"Climate change may undermine the availability, stability and access to "luxury" goods", said Guan. Farmers will face a hard choice: to grow crops for luxurious products or for feeding their cattle.

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