Climate Change Threatens Beer Supply And Prices Worldwide

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If nothing else can spur the world to combat climate change, maybe the love of beer can.

"Although not the most concerning impact of future climate change, climate-related weather extremes may threaten the availability and economic accessibility of beer", the study adds.

The parts of the world where barley is grown - including the northern Great Plains, Canadian prairies, Europe, Australia and the Asian steppe - are projected to experience more frequent droughts and heat waves.

"It's really to alert people in developed countries: Climate change impact will happen to you as well". Even in the best case scenario, the study predicts that beer prices will rise by about 15 percent. Instead, the researchers provided a tangible example of how global warming will impact quality of life by showing its effects on a favorite beverage of the working class: Beer.

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Overall, the global beer industry could potentially incur an average yield loss between 3 percent and 17 percent. Consumption in the U.S. could decrease by between 1.08 billion and 3.48 billion litres, they said.

To reach their findings, researchers looked at 80 years of different climate change models - which includes temperature and rainfall - to estimate how it would alter the yield of barley throughout the world.

As the most popular alcoholic drink in the world by volume consumed, the beer sector consumed around 17 percent of global barley production.

In the worst case scenario of supply and demand, global beer consumption would decline by 16 per cent, while prices would double.

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The study suggests consumption levels could drop by a quarter in the United Kingdom, however, the outlook could be particularly dire for Ireland, Belgium and the Czech Republic, where consumption could drop by a third and prices could double.

China is expected to suffer the most severe shortages in this century, followed by the United States, Germany, and Russian Federation, the report said. "A sufficient beer supply may help with the stability of entertainment and communication in society", Guan said. The issue stems from drought and excessive heat that could drastically reduce barley crop yields, a vital ingredient used to make beer.

"It may be argued that consuming less beer isn't itself disastrous, and may even have health benefits", Guan said in a statement from the University of East Anglia, where he works.

Actually, the study explains thatwith an increase of 2 to 3 degrees, the price per litre of belgian beers will be multiplied by two, going from 2.46 to € 4,78 €. It also expects average beer prices to double.

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Beer is just the latest of life's little pleasures that researches say could be adversely affected by climate change including chocolate, coffee and wine.

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