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Earth

Ethiopia's Coffee Is the Latest Victim of Climate Change (theverge.com) 289

According to a study published today in Nature Plants, by the end of this century, increasing temperatures could make it impossible to grow coffee in about half of Ethiopia's coffee-growing regions. "That's because Arabica coffee trees (which are grown in Ethiopia) require pretty mild temperatures to survive, ideally between 59 to 75 degree Fahrenheit," reports The Verge. "Climate projections show that Ethiopia will generally become warmer and drier, and that means that 40 to 60 percent of areas where coffee is currently grown won't be suitable to grow the beans, the study says." From the report: In fact, climate change is already hurting Ethiopia's coffee growers: days and nights are already warmer, and the weather is more unpredictable and extreme. Hot days are hotter and rainy days are rainier. That leads to more unpredictable harvests and it hurts the local economy. Ethiopia is Africa's biggest coffee producer and the world's fifth largest coffee exporter, with 15 million Ethiopians living off coffee farming. Climate change risks disrupting the country's future. But there is a way Ethiopia can brace for its brewing troubles. The study found that rising temperatures will turn swaths of land at higher elevation into just the right places to grow coffee in the future. In fact, coffee farming could increase four fold if plantations are moved uphill, the study says. But to do that, the country needs to prepare: millions of farmers can't just take their crops and move to land they don't own. You need careful planning.
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Ethiopia's Coffee Is the Latest Victim of Climate Change

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  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Monday June 19, 2017 @10:40PM (#54651817) Journal
    hurts the local economy.
    Coffee production in Vietnam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    Vietnam invested in a lot of different farming crops, so did a lot of other nations. A global flood of cheap and quality coffee now exists from many different nations.
    Other nations have learned how to do all the different coffee crops and are selling on the open market.
    Lots of nations saw coffee prices and helped their farmers into a cash crop. Some made quality, some went for a lot of low cost production.
    Consumers want a low cost product too, so costs are been pushed down. A low price still keeps farmers in work so different nations flood the coffee market with well planned plantations.
    Other nations did the planning, used their best experts over the years and can now produce at a lower cost.
    Its not the weather, its just classic competition and having much better experts.
  • This is stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Monday June 19, 2017 @10:51PM (#54651861) Journal

    The study itself says "In fact, coffee farming could increase four fold if plantations are moved uphill, "

    FOUR FOLD.

    Yet, the headline is about how some coffee fields will be too hot.

    Perhaps a more fair headline would be "Climate change displacing Ethiopian Coffee farmers, but will increase their productivity fourfold."?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      As TFA points out, the only problem with this great scheme is that Etheopia is not Communist and the coffee farmers can't just be moved up hill to the newly productive land. That land belongs to other people, so there has to be some kind of transaction which is hard for coffee farmers with little capable and land that suddenly isn't nearly as valuable as the land they want to buy.

      It's not an impossible problem to solve, but it's certainly screwing the coffee growers pretty badly and of course with climate c

    • by fgouget ( 925644 )

      The study itself says "In fact, coffee farming could increase four fold if plantations are moved uphill, "

      Yep. Until that area too becomes too hot as well and then they have to move again (or not).

      Perhaps a more fair headline would be "Climate change displacing Ethiopian Coffee farmers, but will increase their productivity fourfold."?

      No. That headline would be unsupported by the article: the article did not say how much surface would be needed to get this increased production. If it takes 4 times the surface to produce 4 times as much coffee then productivity has not increased at all.

  • by SlaveToTheGrind ( 546262 ) on Monday June 19, 2017 @11:28PM (#54651963)

    "Scientists project climate change could increase coffee production in Ethiopia fourfold."

    But that probably wouldn't get as many clicks.

    • Only IF the farms are moved. Coffee prices have quadrupled in the last 20 years, I assume you've already knocked down your house and started farming?
      • Coffee prices have quadrupled in the last 20 years

        Also, the number of elephants in Africa has tripled in the past six months!

        • The only way this could possibly be true is when you actively transport elephants into the continent. So WTF are you talking about?

  • Fossil water consumption, deforestation etc etc. The impact a doubling of population every 25 years can have on an environment is so far in excess to what the relative steady global warming can do it's almost laughable.

    But you are allowed to talk about global warming, you have to pretend population growth is irrelevant.

  • I know "tastes like shit" is horribly overused, but Ethiopian coffee gives a very strong smell of human fecal matter, with a taste to match. YMMV, obviously.
  • These are largest polluters in the world per acre and have almost environmental guide lines. At least none that readily enforced. They are largest reason for this tragedy.
  • Check out the acknowledgements:

    This study was conducted for the project Building a Climate Resilient Coffee Economy for Ethiopia, within the Strategic Climate Institutions Programme (SCIP) Fund, financed by the governments of the UK (DFID), Denmark and Norway.

    Sound like the study's sponsor begins with the assumption that the Coffee economy is not climate-Resilient And that climate change that is expected will damage it

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