Tuesday, November 17, 2009

enjoy your coffee

... while it's still available. I've learned from my research for the piece published in today's issue of Current Biology that coffee growers in central america would have to shift their plantations to higher altitudes at a rate of 3-4 metres per year -- which is physically impossible, as coffee grows slowly, and as they will be running out of suitable mountain surface area quite soon.

A stark reminder that climate change isn't something that's going to happen in 2050, it's happening now, and people are suffering the consequences already. For farmers in tropical countries, this means they may no longer be able to feed their families. For us, less catastrophically, it means we may not be able to drink as much tea and coffee as we used to. But maybe a few empty shelves in our supermarkets is what it takes to make people understand ?

anyhow, my article is here:

Coffee growers feel the heat
Current Biology, Volume 19, Issue 21, R965-R966, 17 November 2009
summary and restricted access to pdf file

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