Climate Change is Threatening Coffee

Imbach et al:

Coffee production supports the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers around the world, and bees provide coffee farms with pollination. Climate change will modify coffee and bee distributions, and thus coffee production. We modeled impacts for the largest coffee-growing region, Latin America, under global warming scenarios. Although we found reduced coffee suitability and bee species diversity for more than one-third of the future coffee-suitable areas, all future coffee-suitable areas will potentially host at least five bee species, indicating continued pollination services. Bee diversity also can be expected to offset farmers’ losses from reduced coffee suitability. In other areas, bee diversity losses offset increased coffee suitability. Our results highlight the need for responsive management strategies tailored to bee pollination, coffee suitability, and potential coupled effects.

In effect: climate change is risking the growth of coffee beans, in particular the more sensitive arabica beans that are lower in caffeine content and generally regarded as more delicate and tasty compared to robusta-type beans.