In a new study on climate change and bees in Latin America, a group of scientists is predicting a dramatic drop in coffee production over the next 35 years that will dramatically affect the livelihood of “100 million people.”
“Coffee is one of the most valuable commodities on earth, and needs a suitable climate and pollinating bees to produce well,” said Taylor Ricketts, director of the University of Vermont’s (UVM) Gund Institute for Environment and one of the authors of the new report. “This is the first study to show how both will likely change under global warming—in ways that will hit coffee producers hard.”
The study was produced by an 11-member team and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Their results “suggest that coffee-suitable areas will be reduced 73–88% by 2050 across warming scenarios, a decline 46–76% greater than estimated by global assessments,” the report states.
Moreover, the authors of the study warn of a significant (up to 50 percent) reduction in the global area suitable for coffee farming by midcentury, which will affect the livelihoods of 100 million people in the coffee industry.
The current study is the first to attempt to correlate the effects of global warming on coffee trees with the effects on the bees that serve to pollinate the plants. In a refreshing bit of climate science humility, the researchers noted that “it is not clear whether climate effects on pollinators will accentuate or offset future losses of coffee-producing areas, particularly in the complex montane topographies that produce coffee of high quality.”
In other words, climate effects on bees as pollinators could be either positive or negative, and therefore could either aid or hinder coffee production. When foreseeable effects can go in either direction, however, one wonders how scientists can dare to suggest something as precise as a “73–88%” reduction in coffee-suitable areas.
This is not the first time that coffee production has been scrutinized by climate alarmists with dire predictions of future doom.
Last fall, a number of climate scientists suggested that global warming was threatening the world coffee supply and the jobs of “125 million people” until a group of researchers from the University of Exeter released a study showing the forecasts to be completely groundless.
While National Geographic warned that “Fungus, Climate Change Threatening Big Part of Global Coffee Supply,” and the Guardian proclaimed “How Climate Change Will Wipe Out Coffee Crops – and Farmers,” the whole thing turned out to be just one more baseless climate scare.
Major media reports, including newspapers such as the New York Times, linked coffee leaf rust—also known as CLR or roya—with climate change, but the scientists found “no evidence” for this, leading them to “reject the climate change hypothesis.”
The researchers published their findings in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, in which they concluded:
“We find no evidence for an overall trend in disease risk in coffee-growing regions of Colombia from 1990 to 2015, therefore, while weather conditions were more conducive to disease outbreaks from 2008 to 2011, we reject the climate change hypothesis.”
Lead author Dr. Dan Bebber and co-authors Sarah Gurr and Angela Delgado Castillo found that Colombian coffee yields had been highly variable over time due to varying weather, the effects of disease, management and socio-economic factors.
“Therefore, we conclude that while weather conditions in 2008–2011 may have slightly increased the predicted risk of CLR infection, long-term climate change is unlikely to have increased disease risk,” the authors stated.
During the summer of 2016, a group of scientists discovered that temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula have been falling steadily for the last 18 years at the rate of nearly one degree Fahrenheit per decade, countering earlier warming trends and completely dismantling one of the most cited cases of rapid climate change.
Writing in Nature, the scientists acknowledged that what was once considered one of the most remarkable cases of accelerated anthropogenic climate warming was not due to human causes at all but rather to natural climate swings.
The scientists observed that despite volumes of literature to the contrary, “both the warming since the 1950s and the cooling since the late 1990s are entirely consistent with natural climate variability.”
Despite these setbacks, the true believers behind global warming have persisted in their mission, undaunted. Last November, the online journal Business Insider ran a scare piece titled “7 foods that could go extinct thanks to climate change,” which threatened that global warming is “endangering some of the most popular and delicious foods on the planet.”
“Here are seven foods and drinks that could grow more expensive and eventually disappear due to climate change,” the essay confidently announced: avocados, coffee, beer, oysters, maple syrup, chocolate and lobsters.
Apparently, the folks at Business Insider hadn’t read the newest research on coffee production and continued to preach its alleged extinction.
“In September, a report from the nonprofit Climate Institute concluded that the area around the world fit for coffee production would decrease by 50% due to climate change,” the essay declared.
Already, “climate change has made coffee crops more vulnerable to diseases like coffee rust, which have wiped out more than a billion dollars in crops,” it said.
Attentive readers would do well to keep up on studies on climate change, if nothing else to realize how often climate scientists contradict one another, and how any supposed “consensus” among them is more a creation of media hype than anything approaching fact.
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