January 20, 2019

Climate Change Could Lead to Global Beer Shortage, Study Finds

16 October 2018, 11:30 | Ross Houston

Beer shortage looming?

Climate change could cause beer prices to soar - study

But study co-author Dabo Guan, professor of climate change economics at University of East Anglia, issued a warning for concerned beer-drinkers: Don't drink away your worries about the effect of global warming.

During severe climate events, global beer consumption would decline by 16 percent, or almost 30 billion litres - equal to all the beer quaffed each year in the United States, Guan and an worldwide team of researchers reported in the journal Nature Plants.

"Our results reflect impacts of extreme events as though they happened in the present day", the study says, adding, "Global population and socioeconomic conditions are also held constant".

"If you still want to still have a couple of pints of beer while you watch the football, then climate change [action] is the only way out".

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.

"The aim of the study is not to encourage people to drink more today", he said, according to CNN.

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".

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Forty-three percent of Americans said beer was their favorite type of alochol in 2016, according to Gallup, with 32 percent saying the same about wine and another 20 percent sticking by hard liquor.

The research claims that around a sixth of the world's barley supply is now used in beer production, with the rest used to feed livestock.

Beer drinkers could face higher prices for their drink due to the effects of climate change, scientists have warned.

Wealthy beer-loving nations, such as Canada, Belgium and Denmark, would see the sharpest price rises. Consumption in the USA could decrease by between 1.08 billion and 3.48 billion litres, they said.

"Our results show that in the most severe climate events, the supply of beer could decline by about 16 per cent in years when droughts and heat waves strike", said co-author Steven Davis, also an associate professor of Earth system science at the UCI.

Britain would also get thirsty during a severe barley crunch, with consumption dropping by up to 1.3 billion litres, and the price of a pint doubling.

Climate change could reshape the barley and beer market, the researchers say, depicting a situation where China - which now drinks more Budweiser than the USA - would scale back its beer consumption. Global warming could result in extreme weather, such as floods and droughts, which could jeopardise the lives of millions.

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