Arabica coffee could be extinct by the end of the century

Botany | Biodiversity | Climate Change

tanja.barendziak@uni-bremen.de | 11/12/12 | Bremen, Germany
In less than 100 years there could be no more Arabica coffee worldwide since the climate change has a devastating impact on the biotopes of the most important coffees. Botanists who carried out simulation test on the consequences of the climate change on Arabica coffee came up with this result.
Coffee not only is the most popular beverage across the globe but also the most frequently traded commodity on the world market besides oil. The proportion of Arabica coffee amounts to 70% of global coffee production.
Just like other plants coffee is dependent on specific growing conditions. Coffee plants are particularly sensitive to heat and drought. For the simulation study scientists began with plotting the current distribution of wild Arabica coffee and collected the corresponding climate data. Afterwards they simulated how biotopes change with increasing temperature. Results were shocking: All scenarios led to Arabica populations decreasing significantly in number and distribution. At the worst 99.7% of all habitats get lost until 2080. In the best possible scenario habitat loss is limited to 65%. First precursors of this development can be noticed in Southern Sudan. Many coffee plants in this region have fallen sick or died with new seedlings scarcely existing.
Wild forms of Arabica coffee are particularly important with respect to commercial coffee sorts that are more genetically depauperate. Cross-breeding with wild forms is necessary to make coffee resistant to pests, diseases and all sorts of environmental changes.
For further information read: http://scinexx.de/wissen-aktuell-15298-2012-11-08.html

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