Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

‘Climate change brews trouble for beer lovers’

Barley grain used in the production of beer at the Asahi Kanagawa Brewery in Japan Enlarge Barley grain used in the production of beer at the Asahi Kanagawa Brewery in Japan Tomohiro Ohsumi Bloomberg Getty Images
Frank Williams | 16 October, 2018, 23:31

Guan also noted that beer crops aren't the only ones likely to be affected by climate change.

Following a report from the United Nations last week, additional research revealed that there are climate-related potential problems looming for several key brewing nations, including Belgium, the Czech Republic and Ireland, the journal Nature Plants reported.

Interested in Climate Change?

Add beer to chocolate, coffee and wine as some of life's little pleasures that global warming will make scarcer and costlier, scientists say.

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.

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 aim of the study is not to encourage people to drink more today", he said, according to CNN.

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Worldwide barley is used for all sorts of purposes, mostly feeding livestock.

"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", the study's co-author Dr Steven Davis, of the University of California, said. The price only jumps 15 percent and consumption drops four percent in less severe scenarios. They found that the yield would fall by between 3 and 17 per cent, depending on the severity of the conditions.

"For beer drinkers, this (study) converts an abstract concept. into the more real future price of beer", Ellis said, according to The Guardian.

The research anticipates the price of beer will nearly double here, rising by 93pc as a result. Dabo Guan, a co-author of the study and a professor of climate change economics at the University of East Anglia, and a team of scientists examined scenarios resulting from climate change and then figured out the impact on global barley yields and beer prices. Volume declined 0.4 percent, while dollar sales rose 1.2 percent, led by imports, craft beer and domestic super premiums.

Saying that the beer industry "certainly understands and is already preparing for shifts in climate", the BA's economist Bart Watson and supply chain expert Chris Swersey write that barley production has always shifted geographically - while production efficiency "continues to grow over time". "That's comparable to all beer consumption in the U.S. Future climate and pricing conditions could put beer out of reach for hundreds of millions of people around the world".

The study actually predicted that northern United States and China could actually see an increase in the amount of barley harvested - but the USA may decide to "increase their exports to meet demand in other countries" instead of making more beer.

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