Coffee is one of the world’s most beloved beverages. It’s consumed by millions of people every day and has been for centuries. As climate change continues to worsen, however, coffee production is at risk due to rising temperatures, drought, and other extreme weather events. Let’s take a look at how climate change is impacting coffee production around the world.
Coffee plants are very sensitive to temperature changes. The optimal temperature range for coffee growth is between 64°F and 77°F (18°C and 25°C). If temperatures rise above this range, the plants will suffer from heat stress which can lead to reduced yields and quality. This means that coffee farms in warmer climates—where temperatures often rise above 80°F (27°C)—are increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Drought & Water Stress
In addition to rising temperatures, increased drought conditions in some areas are also having a negative impact on coffee production. Without adequate rainfall or irrigation, coffee plants are unable to absorb enough water from their environment, resulting in poor yields and quality. In some cases, these conditions can be so severe that farmers have no choice but to abandon their crops entirely.
Pests & Diseases
Warm temperatures combined with high humidity can create an ideal environment for insect pests and plant diseases such as leaf rust. These pests and diseases can wreak havoc on a crop in a short amount of time if left unchecked, leading to poor yields and quality as well as financial losses for farmers. Additionally, higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere may also contribute to an increase in pest activity which could further damage crops over time.
Climate change is having an undeniable effect on coffee production around the world—from rising temperatures that cause heat stress in crops, to increased drought conditions that limit water availability, all the way down to pests and diseases that destroy yields overnight. As climate change continues to worsen over time, it’s likely that we’ll see an even greater impact on global coffee production going forward. For those who are passionate about their daily cup of Joe (or two), now more than ever it’s important to support sustainable farming practices whenever possible so that future generations can continue enjoying this beloved beverage for years to come.