Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Climate change could cause beer prices to soar

Climate change could cause beer prices to soar

The study did not consider climate change's effects on other ingredients of beer such as hops.

Barley growing regions including the northern Great Plains of the United States, 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.

"Another way climate change will suck".

"Current levels of fossil fuel consumption and Carbon dioxide pollution - business as usual - will result in this worst-case scenario, with more weather extremes negatively impacting the world's beer basket", co-author Nathan Mueller added in the release.

This is not a drill: As climate change worsens, there could be a beer shortage.

The cost of a pint of beer could rise sharply in the USA 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.

By volume, beer is by far the most popular alcoholic drink in the world, with almost 200 billion litres produced in 2017. Less than 20 percent of the world's barley is made into beer.

Beer prices in the wake of these disruptive weather events would, on average, double.

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".

"There is little doubt that for millions of people around the world, the climate impacts on beer availability and price will add insult to injury", continued Guan.

Mr Guan said beer price spikes and shortages might even affect social stability, noting the prohibition era in the USA saw organised crime supplying illicit liquor. They found that the yield would fall by between 3 and 17 per cent, depending on the severity of the conditions.

Stark warnings about the potential impact of climate change have been issued for years. Dabo Guan, a co-author of the study and a professor of climate change economics at the University of East Anglia, and a team of scientists examined scenarios resulting from climate change and then figured out the impact on global barley yields and beer prices.

Wealthy beer-loving nations, such as Canada, Belgium and Denmark, would see the sharpest price rises. Volume declined 0.4 percent, while dollar sales rose 1.2 percent, led by imports, craft beer and domestic super premiums. "That's comparable to all beer consumption in the U.S. Future climate and pricing conditions could put beer out of reach for hundreds of millions of people around the world". Decreases in global supply lead to proportionally larger decreases in barley used to make beer.

Like this: