Coffee farms threatened by global warming

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

coffee beans
Coffee comes from very delicate plants that require cooler temperatures and stable rainfall.

­Costa Rica has grown coffee for 200 years, mostly on small farms run by families. However, thousands of people have begun growing different crops, because the sensitive coffee plants are suffering under the influence of global warming. The cool mountain areas where coffee grows are heating up, and so farms that aren’t high up enough to enjoy colder temperatures grow less coffee.

A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that climate change around the world is moving too fast for plants to adapt properly. This could lead to two percent less food supply and increase food demand by 14 percent. In Costa Rica, coffee production is expected to drop 10 percent.

See, a fungus called coffee rust is gaining strength in warmer areas, attacking coffee berries in Latin America and Africa. Rain patterns are also being chaotic, further causing stress to the poor plants. Since much of Costa Rica’s prosperity depends on coffee, the government’s taken a tough stand on saving the environment. They’re pushing hard for alternative energies like water, earth, and wind technology that can replace pollution-causing power sources like oil and coal.

However, even if Costa Ricans do their part, the country only creates a tiny fraction of the global pollution. So, unless we want to start seeing a shortage of espressos, it’s time to take action!

Images courtesy of Dirk van der Made on Wikipedia.