An end to coffee - Ka Leo O Hawaii: News

An end to coffee

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Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2012 3:48 pm | Updated: 5:02 pm, Sat Nov 10, 2012.

Climate change's next victim may be too hard to bear.

Making a startling announcement earlier this week on Wednesday, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens researchers warned that by the year 2080, global warming may cause the extinction of the wild Arabica coffee plant.

Running a computer simulation, researchers determined that according to the current rate of climate change wild coffee plant regions of East Africa would likely not see the 22nd century. Over the next few decades, data suggests that 65-100% of wild Arabica will disappear forever.

Why is this wild variety so important? Not only does it provide the bean for the most popular type of coffee grown on farms around the equatorial world, but it's loss in the wild would also lead to an almost guaranteed extinction of Arabica altogether. Since the wild variety possesses a far greater genetic diversity, making them much more resistant to pests and disease, it's extinction would leave only the far more vulnerable cultivated strain.

In response to the ill-boding news, these same researchers identified a number of East African locations that would be less impacted by global warming. The hope in mind for these locations is that—if utilized correctly—they could project the Arabica life-expectancy beyond 2080.

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