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What would your day be like without your morning coffee?  Your holidays without that Apple Pie?  

Can you imagine a world where these tasty foods and beverages we take for granted are increasingly scarce, expensive, and don't taste as good?  All due to climate change?

According to a recent article in the Huffington Post this is likely to happen in the decades ahead if we don't address the climate crisis.

The article talks about a plant disease called "coffee rust" which is a fungus that spreads to coffee plants resulting in much lower yields or even killing coffee plants altogether.  

Last year, U.S. News & World Report published an article about coffee rust "How Climate Change Could Eventually End Coffee"

One highlight from the article

But in recent years, keeping the world's coffee drinkers supplied has become increasingly difficult: The spread of a deadly fungus that has been linked to global warming and rising global temperatures in the tropical countries where coffee grows has researchers scrambling to create new varieties of coffee plants that can keep pace with these new threats without reducing quality.
The editors also note:
The problem has gotten so bad that on March 18, Starbucks bought its first ever coffee farm, specifically to research new climate change-resistant coffee varieties.
I'm not a big coffee drinker, but I know people who are. There are mainly two types of coffee bean - Arabica and Robusta. The Arabica coffee beans are the premium beans that give coffee a smooth, bold taste. Most coffee drinkers prefer it. Unfortunately, the Arabica bean is the one seriously impacted by climate change.
"Arabicas are the ones at risk—they're very delicate trees," he says. "They depend on conditions that are not too warm, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry."
"Robusta is much more tolerant of climate change, it has better heat tolerance, it's less dependent on orderly rainfall," Rhinehart says. "Unfortunately it doesn't taste as good in the cup."
With climate change, Arabica coffee prices are increasing. The long term consequence will be coffee makers increase the amount of Robusta bean in their blends and your coffee will taste worse.

In 2012, National Geographic published an article "The Last Drop? Climate Change May Raise Coffee Prices, Lower Quality" illustrating how climate change could raise coffee prices and worsen the taste.

Indeed, wild arabica coffee could be extinct in several decades due to climate change.

As I said, I'm not a big coffee drinker. But I'm amazed at how coffee drinkers can tell small changes in coffee. How will people react when climate change messes with their coffee?  

The purpose of this diary is to show that climate change will impact our lives in ways we don't even think about.

Originally posted to joedemocrat on Sat Mar 08, 2014 at 09:02 AM PST.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing and Environmental Foodies.

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