A recent study has revealed a bit of bad news for coffee lovers, as global warming could erase up to 60% of the coffee produced by Ethiopia in the next 80 years!
The study, which was published in the journal Nature Plants, has revealed that unless the farmers move up to higher ground, this rapid reduction could very likely take effect!
Ethiopia has long been considered as the birthplace of coffee and has since recognized its stimulating effects. It introduced Coffea arabica, the popular coffee species that provides most of the world’s coffee today. Not only this, but Ethiopia is also Africa’s largest producer of Arabica coffee, with 15 million Ethiopians relying on its production for a living. Every year, their earnings even reach a whopping $800 million!
Unfortunately the grasp of climate change becomes a huge problem. With increased temperatures, less rainfall, as well as increasing drought, it has been predicted that Ethiopia could lose 39-59% of its coffee-growing areas by the year 2100.
It has also been reported that in the last 50 years, average temperatures in Ethiopia have gone up by 1.5°C, while rainfall has declined by 100 centimetres. Local farmers have even said that they had bountiful yearly harvests six or seven decades ago, while now, successful harvests tend to happen only once every five years.
Fortunately, hope is still kept alive as researchers use satellite imagery and climate models to predict changes driven by global warming across the country. They found that there was a possibility of saving their coffee productions if they moved to higher ground, as lower areas are gradually becoming more difficult to plant in.