LONDON, Nov. 13 (UPI) —
Arabica beans, responsible for 70 percent of the world’s coffee market, could face extinction due to climate change, researchers at Britain’s Kew Gardens say.
Rising tides and warming temperatures worldwide could render 99.7 percent of popular current bean-growing regions unsuitable for raising coffee, possibly causing the world’s predominant coffee crop to be extinct by 2080, the researchers said.
Wild Arabica grows naturally in the mountains of Ethiopia and South Sudan, and while most commercial coffee is reproduced by farming and in greenhouses, the wild strain is vital as a source for coffee plantations to get more "pure" beans naturally resistant to pests and disease.
Coffee farmers have already been responding to climate change in the last 50 years, having to move their crops 150 feet higher every 10 years to cope with rising temperatures, inhabitat.com reported.
Although there are other strains of coffee beans — like the stronger Robusta bean — the majority of coffee available in supermarkets and coffee chains comes from the Arabica bean.