Perk up: coffee prices to climb with warming climate

MGN
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It's all fun and games until somebody - or now some thing - touches our coffee.

That thing is a warming climate, causing an increase in heat waves, drought, and even tropical plant diseases. The impact: higher coffee bean prices, both at the coffee shop and at the grocery store.

A 2015 German research paper found this: "Climate change will reduce the global area suitable for coffee by about 50 % across emission scenarios. Impacts are highest at low latitudes and low altitudes. Impacts at higher altitudes and higher latitudes are still negative but less pronounced. The world’s dominant production regions in Brazil and Vietnam may experience substantial reductions in area available for coffee."

We should note that some areas like East Africa (think Ethiopian coffee) and some East Asian coffee farms could actually benefit from a warming climate.

Even if you don't like caffeine or that jolt of Joe, this is a big deal, and a big economic engine. The National Coffee Association, a trade group, found that 1.7 million American jobs are directly tied to coffee.

And in 2015, the NCA calculated that Americans spent 74.2 billion dollars on coffee alone. That's a lot of beans. But a warming climate means there will be fewer high quality beans, and they'll cost even more.

A new report from Climate Central says: "The low-grade Robusta bean is more heat-resistant, though less tolerant of major swings in temperature and precipitation.

And both species suffer from pests like the coffee berry borer, which causes over $500 million in annual damages and is spreading in a warming world."