Science

Climate Change Is Threatening The World’s Beer Supply

Climate Change Is Threatening The World’s Beer Supply

This study comes shortly after the release of a United Nations report that warned we have until 2030 to stop climate change from raising temperatures above a key threshold.

In a collaboration that came about over drinks, an global team of climate researchers has modelled the effects of climate change on barley and beer production. In 2016, the World Meteorological Organization estimated that the world was already at 1.2 degrees Celsius (34.16 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

Several scientists who weren't part of this study said it was sound and perhaps more effective way of communicating the dangers of global warming.

If millennials don't kill the beer industry, climate change just might. Rising heat can reduce how much barley is harvested, in turn increasing prices. Instead, he told CNN, we have to work to stop it.

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in the world by volume consumed, said researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK.

"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.

"One of the greatest challenges as a scientist doing research on climate change and food is to illustrate it in a way that people can understand", U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist Lewis Ziska said in an email.




Only the highest quality grain - less than 20 percent - is used to make beer, with most of the rest used as feedstock. That equals out to about 29 billion litres less.

The price of beer could rise sharply this century - and it has nothing to do with trends in craft brewing. Using five economic models, the study shows that the aforementioned extreme events "may cause substantial decreases in barley yields worldwide", with average yield losses ranging between 3 and 17 percent, depending upon how severe the conditions get.

However, the study's authors noted that different regions of the world will experience the change in quantity and price differently.

The research claims that around a sixth of the world's barley supply is now used in beer production, with the rest used to feed livestock.

On Monday, Mueller tweeted: "Our new paper reveals a frightening impact of climate change extremes: decreasing beer supplies and large price increases. A sufficient beer supply may help with the stability of entertainment and communication in society", according to Guan.

"The world is facing many life-threatening impacts of climate change, so people having to spend a bit more to drink beer may seem trivial by comparison", said co-author Steven Davis, UCI associate professor of Earth system science, in a statement.


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