Global Warming to Endanger Breakfast by 2080!!!

Guest Post by David Middleton

First it was wheat and now it’s coffee. What’s next? Bacon & eggs?

This is nothing but alarmist nonsense…

Researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and the Environment and Coffee Forest Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia looked at how climate change might make some land unsuitable for Arabica plants, which are highly vulnerable to temperature change and other dangers including pests and disease.

They came up with a best-case scenario that predicts a 38 per cent reduction in land capable of yielding Arabica by 2080. The worst-case scenario puts the loss at between 90 per cent and 100 per cent.

If global climate warming change disruption is likely to wipe out such a prevalent coffee bean in a few decades, the previous few hundred years of warming should have “left a mark” on global coffee production… Right?

I downloaded the latest HadCRUT4 temperature and Mauna Loa CO2 data from Wood for Trees and global coffee bean production from FAOSTAT and it appears that coffee bean trees like warmer temperatures…

And they really like a carbon dioxide-rich diet…

The “how climate change might make some land unsuitable” model was built from the IPCC’s totally bogus emissions scenarios. The modeled scenarios A1B, A2A and B2A.

The models say that “business as usual” will lead to A1-type scenarios (turn Earth into Venus and wipe out coffee). The models say that drastic cuts in carbon emissions are required to stay in the B2-type scenario range.

The actual data indicate that the B2-type scenario is the worst case possibility if we keep “business as usual”.

Furthermore, HadCRUT4 shows absolutely no global warming since late 2000…

Now, if I take HadCRUT4 back to the beginning of 1997, I get this…

(Note: I built this graph back in November.)

Let’s look at the equation of the trend line:

y = 0.0048x – 9.2567

The key part of the equation is the number right before “x.” That’s what’s called the “slope” of the function. The slope is 0.0048 °C per year. This works out to about half-a-degree (0.5 °C) Celsius per century. For reference purposes, the IPCC “forecasted” 1.8 to 4.0 °C per century over the next 100 years, depending on their various socioeconomic scenarios. Here’s the real kicker… The IPCC “forecasted” 0.6 °C of warming over the next century in a scenario in which CO2 remains at the same level as it was in 2000. This is reminiscent of Hanson’s failed 1988 model. The IPCC forecast more warming in a steady-state CO2 world than has actually occurred since 1997.

Now let’s look at the “R²” value…

R² = 0.0334

R² is the “coefficient of determination.” It tells us how well the trend line fits the data. An R² of 1.0 would be a perfect fit. An R² of 0.0 would be no fit. 0.0334 is a lot closer to 0.0 than it is to 1.0. R² is related to explained variance. The linear trend line “explains” about 3.3% of the variation in the temperature data since 1997. 96.7% of the variation was due to natural climatic oscillations (quasi-periodic fluctuations, if you prefer) and stochastic variability.

The scenarios in which coffee beans *might* be threatened, “forecasted” 1.8 to 4.0 °C of warming in the 21st century based on “business as usual” carbon emissions. The actual warming since 1998 has been less than the scenario in which atmospheric CO2 levels stopped rising at the beginning of this century.

Data Sources:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO Statistics Division. Coffee bean data downloaded on Feb. 27, 2013.

Hadley Centre. HadCRUT4 tropical temperature data downloaded on February 27, 2013 from Wood for Trees.

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory. Mauna Loa CO2 data downloaded on February 27, 2013 from Wood for Trees.


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Next CHOCOLATE!!! OH NO!!! by 2080 we’ll all be dead oh wait!!!

Let them eat brunch!


OT Breaking
Manned mission to fly past Mars – launch date – January 2018.


Meant: “launch date”

I do hope our taxes are not funding this alarmist nonsense?
Who am I kidding, of course they are!


Assuming for a moment that coffee is negatively affected by higher temperatures, and that global warming takes place as planned by the IPCC, I still see no threat to coffee harvests. We would simply plant it in slightly higher latitudes.
But probably such a simple adaptation would fullfil the definition of a full blown catastrophy in the eyes of global warming activists. Heck, mankind never before had to switch crops! Imagine the difficulties! /sarc


Dirk H:
Or higher altitudes. Plenty of coffee grown in hilly areas. Just go up the hill a bit.

Mike Smith

Are we growing tired of the little boys crying “wolf”?


Not an issue….NASA confirm that the planet is greening up due to the increased levels of CO2. We are even seeing growth in desert conditions as the plants are now better able to retain moisture.
Panic over…coffee is being served. Latte’, Cappucino, Expresso’?

A bunch of researchers are looking for grants.
All that are available are climate grants.
High on the list are collaborations including scientists from the third world.
The researchers get a grant. Hooray.
They use (i) data on biological performance of coffee under a range of temperatures (historical, probably not new); (ii) climatology of a sparsely-measured region of Africa; and (iii) climate projections from models that have frankly frightening outputs.
They discover that fine coffee is no longer viable under the frankly frightening model outputs.
They publish their results.
They apply for new grants.
And so the hamster wheel continues to roll.
There is absolutely no chance, none, big fat zero, of this prophecy coming true.


I’ve been growing coffee from trees purchased in Kona, Hawaii in my living room near Seattle since the late 1990’s. I don’t see a problem unless we also run out of elevation. Coffee tree plantations are like grape vineyards – they are found where the product grows best. No reason anyone should ever think those places have always been and always will be the best.
This reminds me of the story published here about mountain flowers packing up and moving upslope to escape global warming. This is madness – they grow where conditions are best for them, and conditions change and have always changed. Plants are opportunistic – look at all the forage for pine bark beetles in British Columbia where once there was a sheet of ice over a mile thick. That wasn’t all that long ago.
I imagine if these twits were to ask a Hawaiian coffee grower where would be the best place in Hawaii to grow coffee if conditions there were similar to those during the MWP era they could point to the exact locations where conditions would be perfect. Not only that – they could probably tell you they could what else they could grow on the newly expanded farmable slopes. What I cannot imagine is any of them caving in and saying “no can, bra’ – too hot!”.
Given that there has been no significant temperature change in hundreds or thousands of years I don’t see any need to entertain such worries. Nothing but unskilled models suggest any disastrous climate change. It isn’t supported in the observed record, and we have no understanding of the feedback processes or the mathematical sign of them. But as John Kerry says, we have a right to be stupid. That said, people with no education or written language have survived far greater climate change including glaciation of much of the near polar regions. 0.7º does not present a global economy-stopping event.

Mark Bofill

~scowl~ Alarmism about my coffee supply? That’s a low blow…


Isn’t all coffee grown in high altitudes? And Dirk,does this mean I have to grow my corn down below,and my wheat up above? And the pity,my potatoes!! errr…tomatoes?

There is very very little arable land suitable for coffee in the current coffee belt. Changes in climate bands would open vastly more new opportunities for ever bit lost.
The coffee trade is better advised to watch breeding and genetic changes to growing climate areas than they are to climate change.

Bruce Cobb

Especially if you like haggis for breakfast. Well, actually they can get the sheep’s lung in Ireland, where it’s warmer. Wait, what? Used to be warmer back in the 30’s too, but no problems then. It could just be there are other factors involved. Easier to blame everything on manmade warming though.

More modeling BS as usual from these clowns. I think this whole thing is as primmer of how to misuse science and reality to shape faith based belief systems.


I hear European leftists primarily drink robusta. So, not to worry.

Hmm, well, I didn’t see a climate and cost correlation, and that is what is leading me to research alternate caffeine sources. Currently and locally, retail coffee beans vary from 50¢ oz^-1 to $1.50 oz^-1, dependent on quality and transport costs.
There are also a couple of leaf rust blights impacting harvest and driving coffee bean mixtures to the less expensive varieties. Search at by The International Society of Infectious Diseases, Monitoring Emerging Diseases.

Rud Istvan

The CBC does really poor reporting. The study concerned only wild aribica only on the Boma plateau of southwestern Ethiopia and South Sudan. It did not cover any of the domesticated aribica growing breakfast coffee all over the world, for example in central America and Brazil. This is misreporting of a misleading press release. It seems the CBC was too lazy to even read the paper, which is not paywalled at PLOS One.
It is not only the CBC, because National Geographic has basically the same story on their website.
It pays to follow the money about this completely misleading press. The fieldwork and the publication of this paper was financially sponsored by World Coffee Research, a growers consortium. What they want is money to collect a large sample of the wild coffee trees from this area, bring them to the Royal Gardens, and create a large wild gene pool for research into improving domesticated arabica. The hypothetical climate change angle is there to increase the odds of governement funding for something that should be paid for by Nestle, Illya, and Starbucks. Just another greedy private climate hand in the public till.


Even if global warming was happening, it would be trivially easy to plant a new crop a few miles north of wherever the current crop is being grown. They have 70 years to figure out how.


And we couldn’t genetically engineer or selectively harvest beans that would flourish at higher temperatures?

“The worst and most humiliating indicator of that change is the tenor of the skeptic blogs. There’s been a subtle shift. Instead of doing the usual mentat deconstruction of climate papers, they’re doing humour. There’s nothing much left to hit so they’re having a bit of fun. They’re relaxing, having a larf really”

“There is a high risk of extinction.”
LOL. Yeah, righ!. Anthony, I thought these guys weren’t supposed to have a sense of humor – they sure gave me a laugh.
You’d think they’d pick crops that actually didn’t LIKE warm weather… oh, wait… perhaps they can’t find any. That’s it. So they pick something they hope the average Joe won’t know much about but relies upon, and most of us enjoy a cup of coffee kick start to the day.
This is getting sad for the CAGW crowd, it really – really – is.

Fred from Canuckistan

We don’t call it the Canadian Broadcorping Castration for nothing.

Oops! Sorry for the typo (righ!. = right!) – it’s morning (6:26 a.m.) and I’m still on my first cup of coffee. 🙂
Great article, David.

Looking at the famous Vostok Ice core temperature graph of the last 400,000 years, I notice that five times the temperature has been significantly higher than present day. How did the coffee plant survive those times?


They’re right in a way…colder temperatures lead to stronger storm systems and more variability. If you look at the LIA, you see a lot of climate variability and episodic food disasters. In circumstances like that, any sensitivity that a species has to temperature will make them vulnerable. Arabica plantations should be seeking ways to protect themselves from freezes and not worry about a little warming.

F. Ross

What’s next? Climate change is causes hemorrhoids?
Er… all these junk studies are a pain in the a$$, so maybe it’s already happening.

Lil Fella from OZ

Do they have a snoops team to find what’s next in their continuing barrage of what is the next catastrophe of GW (so called)? I am just bewildered by what they come up with!


Ah those Marxist Chickens at CBC are claiming the sky is falling again. They are just as bad as BBC and ABC. Frankly state owned broadcasters should be declared illegal in what is supposed to be a democratic state. They are nothing more than the leftist propaganda arm of the government unions.

If you are Canadian like me — what you hope for most is that CAGW will first “take out” the CBC so that we won’t be nagged and can expire in peace..
Unfortunately these types of breathy, childish badly researched articles are all too common.


Lil Fella from OZ says:
February 27, 2013 at 11:55 am
Do they have a snoops team to find what’s next in their continuing barrage of what is the next catastrophe of GW (so called)? I am just bewildered by what they come up with!
Amongst the next ‘great threats to our civilisation’ will be
– a decline in fertility – as male testicles warm, the number and agility of sperm decrease: babies will be extinct by 2020, or sooner;
– an increase in domestic fire deaths – as people will run their air-conditioners into the ground until they spontaneously undergo unplanned incendiary catastrophic dis-assembly;
– a huge incease in immigration into the colder areas – Europe and North America – driven by ‘climate exhaustion’ of peoples who have had their forefathers in the tropics for many years!
– a calamitous decline in property prices in Middle England, as our houses don’t have great overhanging eaves to keep out the Sun [hey – we’re 51 or more degrees North, here].
Given another half hour, I’ll probably double the number of phoney-maroney ‘great threats to our civilization’.
But it gets boring . . . .

As a tea drinker I say that Global warming can’t come fast enough.

john robertson

Par for the course at CBC, the constantly biased communists only report items that match their agenda, Patchy’s statement of no warming, got no mention that I know of, Pravda reported more accurately and far sooner than CBC on Climate Gate.
No warming?, no correlation between CO2 emissions and Temp? Never on CBC
They shamelessly shove Dr Fruit Fly down captive viewers craw and weep and moan about how misguided we Canadians are for electing a majority Conservative government and dissing the bogus manmade global warming is sacrilege on their sites.
We can reduce the drain on our coffers, by defunding CBC and the propaganda agents they carry.
All those phoney charities trying to manipulate our energy supplies.

I’m disappointed to see the scathing reception to this research.
It is a valuable examination on what climate change may mean to coffee growing in Ethiopia.
There isn’t a lot of land left there for cultivation and hence little opportunity to protect or expand the area or re-site the of growing coffee trees, particularly as they need shade cover from taller tree species, most of which have been cut down over the centuries.
I have travelled in Ethiopia. There is conflict between the need to protect and regenerate native flora, and provide space for the ever-expanding farmer and his family.
Loss of suitable growing space for coffee will not be made up elsewhere.
The real value of this report is in highlighting the protection of naturally occurring bio-diversity of the Arabica specie. If climate change impacts its current range, we will see the loss of that diversity of naturally occurring cultivars which we will often want to fall back to as a gene bank to enable growing Arabica in diverse points around the world. Much as we go back to other prime crop plant’s wild specie to recover desirable genes we have lost in modern cultivation.
Sad about the headline of David Middleton’s post here.
It completely detracts people from what the report is conveying.
Protection of naturally occurring biodiversity.


The putrid stench of politically correct grant funding overpowering the aroma of coffee.
How tiresome, predictable and wrong.


One minute plants are moving uphill due to global warming. Then the next Arabica faces EXTINCTION. Can these plants move uphill or not?

“A cup of morning coffee could”… I stopped there. When reading something climate related, you can safely stop reading at the word “could”. It’s mark for “what follows has little scientific value”.


And the kicker is, it just wouldn’t matter…

The ideal temperature range for an Arabica tree is from 60 to 74 degrees fahrenheit (15 to 24° celcius). Above this range, the trees will not grow as well. Additionally, these trees are susceptible to frost, potentially losing both the leaves and the coffee cherries if the temperature is too cool. The growing climate should also have an average annual rainfall between 47 and 98 inches (1200 to 2500 millimeters). Soil for the coffee trees should be slightly acidic with good drainage[8].

Hemileia vastatrix is an obligate parasite, that lives mainly on the plants of genus Coffea, reportedly also on Gardenia in South Africa. It needs suitable temperatures to develop (not less than 10°C and not greater than 35°C). The presence of free water is required for infection to be completed. Loss of moisture after germination has been initiated inhibits the whole infection process.
Coffee between 15 to 24° Celsius and fungus between 10 and 35° Celsius. Coffee screwed with or without “climate change”..
…and they wonder why we tire of the incessant bleating…

The standard of reporting from CBC (ABC, BBC, PBS, and the the rest of the leftist media too) is truly appalling. What is it about the fact that all plants really like a carbon dioxide-rich diet that they cannot comprehend.

Peter Miller

What’s the fuss all about?
This is typical ‘climate science’.
Grant addiction = Bad science = Typical ‘climate science’


This matters not. By that time, there will be no humans left to drink the damn stuff, also due to climate change.

Those at CBC News obviously need to get themselves some stronger coffee to wake up those logical brain cells before they die off from under use.. crazy is, crazy does..

Has anyone got a blood Orange recently? It’s a variety of Orange that is sensitive to cold temperatures, they turn red in when they are effected by cold temperatures as the develop, they were very popular during the1800’s.

Has anyone got a blood Orange recently? It’s a variety of Orange that is sensitive to cold temperatures, they turn red when they are effected by cold temperatures as they develop, they were very popular during the1800′s.

a dood

Mike Smith says:
February 27, 2013 at 10:26 am
Are we growing tired of the little boys crying “wolf”?


I really like these diagrams indicating just how silly some of the alarmist people can be, and how out of touch with the available pertinent data.
I’d just like to comment on your use of the word “variation” which changed from “variance” used a few lines earlier. I think it would be better to stick to the real statistical term rather than the semi-colloquial “variation”, which might cause some confusion.
Nearly everyone (Phil Jones excepted) can fit a linear model to climate data, and does so, whether or not it is technically justifiable or sensible. The reason is of course its simplicity and robustness relative to most other models in those cases where you have no a priori reason to believe in a more complex model. One benefit of simple linear regression is that it is very easy to generate “confidence intervals” for the fitted line and for a future observation from the same population. In the strange world of climate investigation no-one ever seems to take this simple and logical next step. Whenever I fit a simple (or higher order) linear model I always generate these intervals. I have to admit that I do not attempt to account for possible serial correlation. Normally this does not worry me, since climate data series, especially monthly data, frequently have large numbers of observations, and even serious deflation of the residual degrees of freedom often has only a small effect on the computed intervals.
A useful feature of of these confidence interval plots is that they indicate visually and immediately the degree of belief that one should have in the properties of the fitted regression. In particular, the inner hyperbolae, showing the confidence intervals for the fitted line, enclose any viable real line that describes the data. Thus, if the two most extreme lines that can be contained by the intervals have slopes that vary between positive and negative values, the fitted equation is not to be believed at the probability used to construct the interval. This is because the slope can take both positive and negative values and still be within the chosen level of probability. I reiterate that in general, lines fitted to climate data fail to provide these invaluable indicators. This leaves the readers unable to judge their reliablility or viability.
Of course, R-Sq is supposed to indicate something to the reader, but in my opinion it serves only to hide some important facts relating to the fit. What should be supplied is “Adjusted R-Sq”, which can take negative values, as well as the conventional “R-Sq”. Without going into the algebra involved (easy, but unfamiliar to most readers of climate blogs, I would guess), a negative value shows with certainty that the regression equation is of no practical value whatsoever. Other statistics that would clarify the value of the fitted line are the “t” values for the coefficient and the probability of such a value occuring by chance. Probabilities below 0.05 would tell you immediately that the regression has something serious to say, at the 95% probability level. Probabilities above this throw statistical doubt on the value of the regression equation at that level. Of course, all these statistics and confidence interval plots are different manifestations of /exactly/ the same numerical stuff. They are algebraically equivalent, but can help in their own ways to shed some light on the arithmetic of regression, and thus on the problem that is being addressed.


Justthinkin says:
February 27, 2013 at 10:41 am
“Isn’t all coffee grown in high altitudes?”
Doesn’t look like it:
Looks more like you actively gotta stop those plants from conquering the entire globe.


May I say, LOL:
“Originally, coffee farming was done in the shade of trees that provided a habitat for many animals and insects.[53]

This method is commonly referred to as the traditional shaded method, or “shade-grown”. Starting in the 1970s, many farmers switched their production method to sun cultivation, in which coffee is grown in rows under full sun with little or no forest canopy.
Oh NOES! Farmers might have to use the old shade-grown method again! The HORRORS!


The poor Coffea arabica survived the Minoan warm period. Just like the polar bears survived an ice free Arctic during the Holocene. / sarc
I am not buying the extinction nonsense because the Earth has land at sea level up to Everest. Vegetation takes advantage of where it’s most hospitable.