Photo: larryvincent (flickr)
If you’re like lots of folks, your perfect morning wake up call is a steaming cup of coffee. As it turns out, though, the creeping menace of climate change is threatening this idyllic morning routine.
Arabica coffee plants are renowned worldwide for producing the highest quality coffee, but their ecosystem and climate needs are exceptionally specific. In fact, one of the very few places in the world where they can thrive is Ethiopia’s montane forests.
In 2012, scientists used computer modeling to simulate the long term effects of climate change on these regions. The results were certainly a wakeup call — and not an idyllic one! Arabica coffee habitat is shrinking quickly. The best case scenario shows a habitat reduction of one-third over the next 75 years. Less optimistic predictions indicate a high risk of extinction for Africa’s Arabica plants.
Thankfully, the study does identify areas that could potentially withstand climate change. However, careful conservation management will be essential to the long term survival of the Arabica coffee industry.