Climate Change Likely to Ding Beer Supply

Climate Change Likely to Ding Beer Supply

But study co-author Dabo Guan, professor of climate change economics at University of East Anglia, issued a warning for concerned beer-drinkers: Don't drink away your worries about the effect of global warming.

Barley growing regions including the northern Great Plains of the USA, the Canadian prairies, Europe, Australia, and the Asian steppe were all likely to experience more frequent droughts in years to come as a result of global warming, the study in the journal Nature Plants reported.

If you crave a pint (or two) at the end of a hard day, brace yourself: climate change is poised to make your favourite lager, ale or IPA more scarce and pricey.

It continued: "Although it may be argued that consuming less beer is not disastrous-and may even have health benefits-there is little doubt that for millions of people around the world, the climate impacts on beer consumption will add insult to injury".

The study's researchers said that similar to prohibition-era laws, a global beer shortage will have the biggest impact on the working class.

Barley is susceptible to drought and heat, and the extreme weather conditions in the coming years associated with global temperatures rising could trigger a 16% decline in global beer consumption, Business Insider reported. But they said it would affect the quality of life of many people.

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Prof. Guan said: "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". Less than 20 percent of the world's barley is made into beer. Using five economic models, the study shows that the aforementioned extreme events "may cause substantial decreases in barley yields worldwide", with average yield losses ranging between 3 and 17 percent, depending upon how severe the conditions get.

The study actually predicted that northern United States and China could actually see an increase in the amount of barley harvested - but the US may decide to "increase their exports to meet demand in other countries" instead of making more beer.

"Although some attention has been paid to the potential impacts of climate change on luxury crops such as wine and coffee, the impacts on beer have not been carefully evaluated", he said, according to ScienceDaily.

Wealthy beer-loving nations, such as Canada, Belgium and Denmark, would see the sharpest price rises.

A pint could double in price in the United Kingdom as a result of "severe weather events" that could result in a shortage of barley used to brew beer. Few people would complain if global warming ruined Brussels sprouts, he added.

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