Climate change will make beer prices soar with temperatures, study says

Climate change could cause beer prices to soar - study

Climate change could cause beer prices to soar - study

An worldwide team of scientists from the U.S., Britain, and China examined the effect of climate change on barley over the next 80 years of timespan.

The alarming scenario is outlined in a study involving the University of East Anglia and believed to be the first detailed assessment of the vulnerability of beer supply to extreme climate and weather events.

More widespread and severe drought and heatwaves threatens to substantially decrease barley crops - a key ingredient in making a pint.

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in the world by volume consumed so any impact on beer crops will affect the amount brewed.

"In the long term, adaptation efforts might offset mean damages to barley production from climate change through changes in agronomic practices, cultivars or barley-growing areas; however, extreme events are hard to manage under any climate regime", the researchers write in the study. The country could see consumption dropped by approximately 4.43 billion liters during the most severe climate conditions.

Beer is a big user of barley, consuming some 17% of global barley production. Overall, consumption is expected to fall by 16%; equal to roughly how much beer was imbibed in the U.S. in 2011.

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.

"We have to all work together to mitigate climate change", said Guan, according to CNN.

The research claims that around a sixth of the world's barley supply is now used in beer production, with the rest used to feed livestock.

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Per capita, most of the top-20 beer-drinking nations are in Europe, along with the United States, New Zealand and Australia.

Though the vast majority of scientists around the globe believe that human-caused climate change is putting the entire planet at risk, skepticism over these claims is still frustratingly pervasive.

Changes in barley supply would cause beer prices to double, on average, and global beer consumption would fall by 16 percent.

The Brewers Association, the US trade group, responded to the study by calling it "largely an academic exercise and not one that brewers or beer lovers should lose any sleep over".

Beer prices were predicted to rise most in wealthy beer-loving countries such as Belgium, Canada, Denmark and Poland.

The loss of supply could lead to a major increase in prices.

Beer prices in the wake of these disruptive weather events would, on average, double.

"Really, the countries who love beer will suffer a lot", he said.

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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