Eps 4: What Would Happen When The World Runs out of Coffee?

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Gail Sullivan

Gail Sullivan

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Researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the UK The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the UK are warning that climate change, deforestation, drought and plant disease are threatening the future of coffee. The Climate Institute is not the first to warn of a bleak future for coffee beans. While most coffee researchers agree that agricultural production is in crisis, some argue that the focus on climate change and leaf spot is masking real dilemmas and potential solutions to coffee cultivation.
Yvette Perfecto, a researcher at the University of Michigan who has been studying coffee for three decades, says it was the shift away from agroforestry, not just climate change, that marked the real crisis for coffee and the livelihoods of coffee growers. . Not only is the supply chain at risk, but the livelihoods of the estimated 25 million coffee farmers who earn their living by growing coffee. From small farmers to large producers, supply chain operators are taking steps to save coffee.
For many of the world's 70 coffee-producing countries, the industry is at the heart of their economies. As a global commodity, coffee is one of the world's best-selling commodities and one of the largest exports for many developing countries, all of which are south of the equator.
Global warming, deforestation, disease and pests are driving the decline, and scientists are warning that without conservation, monitoring and seed conservation measures, the world of coffee could be a thing of the past. Coffee could disappear if global warming continues on its current trajectory, according to a report from the Climate Institute.
Coffee could run out by the end of the century due to climate change and intensive farming, according to a recent report by 80 scientists from Kew Gardens. A new study suggests that 60% of natural coffee may soon be gone. A major study published in January found that 60 percent of wild coffee species, or 75 of the 124 species, are at risk of extinction.
According to a 2014 study published in the journal Climate Change, about half of the area suitable for growing coffee could be lost to the climate crisis by 2050. Rising temperatures will reduce the area suitable for growing coffee by 50% by 2050. Researchers predict that by 2050 the amount of agricultural land suitable for growing coffee will be halved due to rising temperatures, pests and fungi. The goal is to grow coffee plants that are better able to survive in warmer climates and are also resistant to climate change-related diseases such as coffee rust.
Much research is aimed at developing varieties of coffee plants that are more productive, grow at lower altitudes, and are resistant to diseases such as coffee rust. World Coffee Research, a nonprofit research organization, set itself the challenge of creating the next generation of climate-tolerant varieties that offer superior quality, adaptability to varying heights, high yields, and resistance to pests and diseases. In Latin America, coffee-dependent governments are investing in research to make plants more resilient, according to Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza. If farmers can price their coffee fairly, they will also have more money to invest in diverse systems that will benefit and help mitigate the intertwined threats of coffee leaf rust and climate change, Yvette Perfecto said.
If you care about your environmental impact, and the fact that the Australian coffee habit has cost farmers and growers around the world $2 billion, it's worth considering what's in your cup. Coffee drinkers everywhere looking for their favorite morning drink probably don't give a second thought to its health benefits or harms.
A 2013 analysis of 20 studies and another of 17 studies involving more than 1 million people found that coffee consumption slightly lowered the overall risk of death. As a sign of the times, the Department of Agriculture agreed in 2015 that "coffee can be included in a healthy lifestyle," especially if you drink three to five cups a day and avoid cream and sugar. A meta-analysis of 36 studies involving more than 1.2 million people found that moderate coffee consumption appeared to be associated with a lower risk of heart disease; in addition, those who drank more than five cups a day had no greater risk. A systematic review of 26 studies, including cohort and case-control studies, showed that the risk of Parkinson's disease was reduced by 25% with increased caffeinated coffee intake.
In a 20-year meta-analysis of 45,335 people with type 2 diabetes, it was found that more coffee cups were associated with a lower risk of diabetes. A recent review of data by Suzanne Larsson of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found that each cup of coffee per day was associated with a 6% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, a meta-analysis of 21 prospective studies in men and women found that moderate coffee consumption was associated with a 21% lower risk of cardiovascular death in non-drinkers. Moderate coffee intake was found to be associated with a 15% lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to the lowest coffee intake .
The results showed an association between men who drink more caffeine and a 58% lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease than men who do not drink coffee. Its medicinal properties have been confirmed by recent studies, which suggest that coffee may provide some protection against some common diseases. The proposal was based on a review of over 1,000 studies published by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer that found insufficient evidence that coffee consumption causes cancer. The first comprehensive threat assessment for 124 different types of wild coffee was published in 2019 by scientists at Kew Gardens, who found that 60% of the species are threatened with extinction due to climate change, deforestation, pests and diseases.