BEER WILL WORTH A FORTUNE DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

BEER WILL WORTH A FORTUNE DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

By 2099, beer prices may skyrocket by 656 percent, due to the influence of global warming on barley crops. As the grain is primarily used for livestock feeding, the diminishing of crops during the coming years – with drought and extreme heat as protagonists – will drive barley-growing countries to take a decision, as to how much of the harvest will be allocated to the beer industry.

“The world is facing many life-threatening impacts of climate change, so people having to spend a bit more to drink beer may seem trivial by comparison. But not having a cool pint at the end of an increasingly common hot day just adds insult to injury,” said Steven Davis, professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine.

THE LOSS OF BEER PRODUCTION

On October 15, the Nature Plants journal published the new study, conducted by an international team of scientists from the U.K., the U.S. and China.

The research team ran several computer simulations, to asses influences of the increasing hot temperatures, on barley crops. They concluded that, in case global greenhouse gas emissions remain at the current level, the world could lose its beer production. Though only 17 percent of the global barley stock went to the beer industry in 2011, it’s estimated the planet could lose that same percent in the following decades.

“Our results show that in the most severe climate events, the supply of beer could decline by about 16 percent in years when droughts and heat waves strike. That’s comparable to all beer consumption in the U.S.,” Davis said.

The primary ingredient in beer, barley was one of the first cultivated grains, as early as 10,000 years ago. Domesticated in Western Asia and in northeast Africa, it was used for human food, animal fodder and commonly made into malt. In 2016 it was ranked as fourth in overall grain production.

ONE PINT WILL BE PRICY. MORE WILL BE OUT OF THE QUESTION.

“Future climate and pricing conditions could put beer out of reach for hundreds of millions of people around the world,” said Steven Davis, professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine.

Statistics show that in 2016, the Czech Republic had the lead in beer consumption per capita, with 143 liters. It is followed close by Namibia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Ireland and Romania, while the United States and the U.K. were ranked as 21st and 25th. But with up to 2 liters per capita, Indonesia and India are likely not to feel beer scarcity.

As global warming will target crop failures, the diminishing of barley production will have a tremendous impact on beer prices and availability. Also considering that beer is highly popular in many cultures and population growth estimates show some 10 billion by 2050, there will not be too much available. So, as a pint of beer may soon worth a fortune, it may become the next best birthday cake.

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