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Study: Climate Change Could Threaten Coffee Supplies

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File photo of coffee beans. (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP/GettyImages)

File photo of coffee beans. (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP/GettyImages)

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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) — According to some experts, the northeast region of the United States has experienced first-hand the effects of climate change on weather patterns.

Superstorms such as Sandy, regarded by many meteorologists as an anomaly not previously seen in documented histories of weather, have been used to support long-held theories that human carelessness with the environment has manifested itself in catastrophic consequences – namely in large, destructive storms.

Climate change could also affect another facet of life, however – one’s morning cup of coffee.

According to the London Telegraph, a new study has uncovered evidence that the plants that produce Arabica beans, frequently used in mass-producing coffee, could become extinct within a matter of decades because of climate change.

“Arabica can only exist in a very specific pace with a very specific number of other variables,” head of coffee research at the Royal Botanic Gardens Aaron Davis told the publication. “It is mainly temperature but also the relationship between temperature and seasonality – the average temperature during the wet season for example.”

The source plant, Coffea Arabica, is native to South Sudan, as well as some of Ethiopian highlands and the Yemen mountains on the Arabian Peninsula.

Growth could be hindered as soon as 2020 a part of South Sudan where crops have already deteriorated in quality, the Telegraph noted.

Researchers reportedly estimated that approximately 65 percent of locations where Arabica beans can grow will become unsuitable for growth by the year 2080. Extreme models found that almost all locations could become irrevocably inappropriate for Arabica growth.

Davis noted to the publication that, at our current rate of climate change, plantations that grow Arabica would need to relocate as much as 5 meters, or approximately 16 feet, every decade in order to survive.

The compromised coffee supply may be a blessing in disguise, however. On their official website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta recommends that people avoid stimulants such as caffeine – which is found in coffee – to promote healthier sleep habits.

The study was published in ONE journal, released by the Public Library of Science.

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