Guest Post by Bob Tisdale
A GlobalPost article by Sara Yasin includes the latest climate change and global warming scare. The headline: Our love for things that cause climate change could mean the end of life with chocolate. After a typical climate-change lead-in, the article reads:
But now, it looks like our inability to address climate change adequately might cost us one of the world’s most pure, innocent, and wonderful pleasures: chocolate.
According to Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s largest chocolate manufacturing company, our growing love for chocolate might mean “a potential cocoa shortage by 2020.”
After a discussion of how demand has increased, the article continues:
But the shortage isn’t just about the world going crazy for chocolate — it also has a lot to do with climate change. A decrease in cocoa supplies can be pinned on West Africa’s dry weather, which is only getting worse. In Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire — responsible for more than 70 percent of global cocoa supply — a study released by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture predicts a 2 degree Celsius (3.6 F) increase in temperatures by 2050. Higher temperatures mean that more water evaporates into the air from leaves and earth, leaving less behind for cocoa trees — a process called “evapotranspiration.”
Read the rest here.
Chocolate at risk. This is sure to impact how some people think of global warming and climate change.
[UPDATE FROM WILLIS] I trust Bob Tisdale won’t mind if I add a bit here. Since 1997 we have pretty accurate measurements of rainfall by satellite, from a project called the “Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission” (TRMM). Here’s the TRMM data for the cocoa producing areas of Ghana/Sierra Leone for that period, from that marvelous resource, KNMI:
As you can see, the claim of decreasing rainfall in the chocolate regions is already out of date. I heard this story from a less alarmist source than the Unscientific American. They said we’re running out of cocoa because consumer preferences are shifting to darker chocolate, which uses more cocoa in its preparation.
My thanks to Bob for a good article,