Why climate change means beer could become more scarce

Climate change could cause beer prices to soar - study

The world's beer drinkers will be drowning their sorrows after a study found that the price of a pint could double because of climate change.

A new study, published in Nature Plants, highlights that extreme weather conditions, such as droughts and heat waves, in conjunction with global warming, will cause "sharp declines" in barley crops, the primary component of beer.

Climate change is putting barley crops at risk.

Add beer to chocolate, coffee and wine as some of life's little pleasures that global warming will make scarcer and costlier, scientists say.

The study outlines how different regions of the world will be affected, suggesting that prices will go increase the most in wealthy, beer-loving countries like Belgium, Canada, Denmark and Poland.

The cost of a pint of beer could rise sharply in the US and other countries because of increased risks from heat and drought, according to a new study that looks at climate change's possible effects on barley crops.

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in the world by volume consumed, said researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK.

"While the effects on beer may seem modest in comparison to numerous other-some life-threatening-impacts of climate change, there is nonetheless something fundamental in the cross-cultural appreciation of beer", Guan said. The biggest consumer of beer today, China, is expected to see a drop of 4.34 billion litres.

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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.

Research predicts heatwaves and droughts could cause a fall in barley yields of up to 17 percent across the leading grain-producing regions of Australia, Asia, Europe and the US.

The research anticipates the price of beer will nearly double here, rising by 93pc as a result.

Yet, it is hoped a seemingly more trivial warning may get people to sit up and listen, by hitting us with the most terrifying of word pairings - beer shortage.

"For beer drinkers, this (study) converts an abstract concept. into the more real future price of beer", Ellis said, according to The Guardian. The U.S. wouldn't be far behind, with beer consumption projected to fall by an average of around 1.75 billion liters.

"Our results show that in the most severe climate events, the supply of beer could decline by about 16 per cent in years when droughts and heat waves strike", said co-author Steven Davis, also an associate professor of Earth system science at the UCI.

Beer production could plummet thanks to global warming. Consumption in the USA could decrease by between 1.08 billion and 3.48 billion litres.

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