Claim: Global warming will cause a Coffee "catastrophe"

Coffee with chocolate shavings and ginger snap. Uploaded by Magnus Manske Author Andy One. Source Wikimedia (attribution license)
Coffee with chocolate shavings and ginger snap. Uploaded by Magnus Manske Author Andy One. Source Wikimedia (attribution license)

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Coffee drinkers face a climate catastrophe, reports The Guardian, reporting on a study published by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) under the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

According to the Guardian, interviewing Dr Peter Läderach, a CCAFS climate change specialist and co-author of the report;

“If you look at the countries that will lose out most, they’re countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras, which have steep hills and volcanoes,” he said. “As you move up, there’s less and less area. But if you look at some South American or east African countries, you have plateaus and a lot of areas at higher altitudes, so they will lose much less.”

Without new strategies, says the study, Brazil alone can expect its current arabica production to drop by 25% by 2050.

“In Brazil, they produce coffee on the plains and don’t have any mountains so they can’t move up,” said Läderach.

Read more:

Digging a little deeper, it turns out that the study doesn’t actually predict a coffee “catastrophe”.

… The regions where Arabica coffee would be least affected by higher temperatures are East Africa with the exception of Uganda and Papua New Guinea in the Pacific. Mesoamerica would be the most affected region, specifically Nicaragua and El Salvador. Since Arabica coffee is an important export of Mesoamerica, we expect severe economic impacts here. As previously suggested by Zullo [32], strongly negative effects of climate change are also expected in Brazil the world’s largest Arabica producer, as well as India and Indochina. Regions predicted to suffer intermediate impacts include the Andes, parts of southern Africa and Madagascar, and Indonesia, with significant differences among islands [17]. …

And in the conclusion:

… Some countries, such as in Mesoamerica, will lose competitiveness on global markets for quality coffee. They may need to diversify into other products to prevent adverse effects on their rural economies [28]. Other regions such as the Andes, East Africa and Indonesia may take advantage of new market opportunities. But they may require specific policies and strategies to ensure that expansion of coffee farmlands takes place in climatically, pedologically and ecologically suitable areas [17]. …

So even if the predictions of the report are correct, the main outcome will be some very poor countries will gain an economic opportunity. Some richer countries might have to choose between trying to breed a variety of coffee which is better suited to their climate, or growing something else.

Frankly it seems a bit of a stretch, to describe this outcome as a “catastrophe”.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
May 2, 2015 3:27 am

According to LinkedIn
“Peter Läderach holds an Msc in Geography and a PhD in Tropical Agriculture”.
Not sure how that makes him a “climate change specialist”, but if you agree with the Guardian you are a great scientist. If you do not agree with them you are mad or stupid.
No wonder less and less people buy the Guardian.

Reply to  ConfusedPhoton
May 2, 2015 3:59 am

Quite a few Guardian readers probably drink Decaffeinated Coffee due to it’s purity and detoxification properties. Caffeine is removed from steamed coffee beans as they fall through 100 feet holding vats of pressurised man-made CO2 @ 150psi. Draw your own conclusions.

Reply to  GeeJam
May 2, 2015 8:07 am

Or coffee is decaffeinated using methylene chloride (also used to kill termites), which “destroys the ozone layer.” In the most chemically benign methods, all of the coffee “flavor compounds” are removed from the beans into a liquid, from which the caffeine is removed and the flavors are “re-infused” back into the tasteless beans. Acetone used to be a solvent of choice, now banned by the FDA. How many FDA inspectors do you think there are in “Mesoamerica?”
Drinking decaf for its purity and detoxification properties is like eating at McDnlds for their fine free-range, high omega-3 organic beef burgers.
High mountain arabica is the most flavorful and lowest caffeine coffee. The base ingredient for most of the bunker oil served by Starbucks or canned for mass consumption, is robusta – harsh flavor, very high caffeine, grown in lowland factory farms – and mixed with a little arabica for flavor, then roasted so dark that most drinkers think the natural flavor of coffee is burned nearly to charcoal.
El Salvador and Nicaragua together produce about 2,700,000 bags of coffee per year. The surrounding countries, somehow magically spared the devastation of warming, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, produce about 13,000,000. Here in Panama we are having bumper crops, the biggest ever, thanks IMHO, to the increased CO2.

Reply to  GeeJam
May 2, 2015 8:54 am

“The base ingredient for most of the bunker oil served by Starbucks or canned for mass consumption, is robusta – harsh flavor, very high caffeine, grown in lowland factory farms – and mixed with a little arabica for flavor, then roasted so dark that most drinkers think the natural flavor of coffee is burned nearly to charcoal. ”
Tsk. A nice Arabica-Robusta blend, dark roasted, milled just before use for an Espresso is exactly right for me. When buying coffee I have to look out to find something that is not 100% Arabica, I can’t stand that; all the engineers, teachers and public “servants” in my quarter drink only that so the local supermarket has nearly no Robusta containing Espresso coffee bean mixes.
So if Arabica becomes scarce, color me unimpressed.
That being said you won’t find me dead in a Starbucks.

Reply to  GeeJam
May 2, 2015 11:37 am

To markopanna below – decaffeinated coffee WAS made using methylene chloride, but now it is done using supercritical CO2 and has no solvent residue. And, methylene chloride does not breakdown ozone.
The ozone scare was cooked up by Dupont Chemical to get their out-of-patent refrigerant banned so that they could substitute their more expensive patented refrigerant. The “science” that CFCs breakdown ozone were a set of lies by a scientist paid to do so and then campaigned, funded, and lobbied by Dupont Chemical. Now, twenty years later, that scientist admits to making it up. It is actually nitrogen gas and solar radiation that breaks down ozone..

Reply to  GeeJam
May 2, 2015 2:39 pm

Most coffee, in the US at least, is decaffeinated with MCl or “Swiss” water process. Finding super-critical CO2 decaffeinated coffee is very difficult. Most importers I purchase from haven’t even heard of the process

May 2, 2015 3:27 am

Simply increase the price of any food stock and claim it is now scarce because of ‘global warming’.
What could go wrong?

old construction worker
Reply to  Richard111
May 2, 2015 4:32 pm

Sort of like the peanut shortage during the Carter years.

May 2, 2015 3:28 am

If you can’t obtain change by reason, try emotion (fear).

Reply to  tmtisfree
May 2, 2015 8:21 am

And when you do make your own shocking revelation paper, remember to use the Terror Trendy alliteration CC;
Climate Change
Colony Collapse – and now;
Coffee Catastrophe

Reply to  cnxtim
May 2, 2015 9:56 am

… and Climate Control
… and Carbon Credits

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
May 2, 2015 3:29 am

They have trotted this one out every year for the last several years… and it always seems to be right after yet another RECORD CROP.

David A
Reply to  Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
May 2, 2015 1:05 pm

Yes! Another wrong story based on wrong climate models based on warming not happening based on droughts not occurring, contradicted by record crops.

Lars P.
Reply to  David A
May 3, 2015 8:22 am

Correct. Another climate catastrophe which will not happen, but we have to wait some 40 years to invalidate this. They learned now and move their doomsday prophecies to later in the future. No longer 5-10 years time frame, that is too obvious wrong and unravels too early

Reply to  Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
May 3, 2015 12:37 am

Sounds like I can service my addiction for another year. 🙂
So what happens when things start to cool?

May 2, 2015 3:34 am

This could be a good thing. Coffee is for sissies!! Anyone who needs coffee to get their day started is a panty waste sissy!

Reply to  DocWat
May 2, 2015 5:19 am

“Coffee is for sissies!!”
Yer darn tootin’, DocWat. Everybody knows yer suppose ta start yer day with a couple o’ shots of red eye.
;o) ;o) [double winky, just in case anyone thinks I’m serious]

Warren in New Zealand
Reply to  H.R.
May 2, 2015 9:24 pm

You weren’t? Gosh golly darn.

Reply to  DocWat
May 2, 2015 5:49 am

Arabica coffee caffeine content is typically 80-130 mg
black tea is about 40-120mg
people should simply switch to tea. Even reduce tea intake to avert caffeine addiction!

Reply to  Ayesha
May 2, 2015 11:45 am

So, what’s wrong with caffeine addiction, if the was such a thing. Actually, there is no addiction, other than you might get a headache the day after ceasing caffeine intake. It is non-addictive.
There is no downside to caffeine, consumed at less than 15–20 cups of coffee’s worth per day. In pregnant women, coffee drinking correlates with miscarriages, as most women instinctively avoid protein foods and coffee when they become pregnant. The fetus is most susceptible to toxins in the early embryonic stages. A woman who does not cease coffee intake is simply a sign of a bad pregnancy.

Reply to  Ayesha
May 2, 2015 2:42 pm

Those are percent by dry weight figures. The amount of soluble caffeine in coffee is much higher. If you plan on eating tea leaves though…

May 2, 2015 3:34 am

Some persons never take NO for an answer not understand that Ad hoc isn’t a valid argument but a fallacie…

Mark from the Midwest
May 2, 2015 3:40 am

I thought latitudes of most of the countries mentioned were the least impacted by the natural climate variation that happens to be in the news these days. Coffee production will be impacted by 25% due to a 0.25C temperature difference? This guy needs to get out of the office and recognize that there’s that much temperature variance from one side of a flat field to the other based on wind direction.

May 2, 2015 3:45 am

Perhaps these countries should opt to grow crops that the world needs for food NECESSITIES, rather than than crops that are an OPTIONAL even luxury type of drink.

Reply to  ilma
May 2, 2015 6:47 am

no, coffee necessity now.

old construction worker
Reply to  ilma
May 2, 2015 4:36 pm

Thank you, Nanny. Don’t just love progressive socialist.

May 2, 2015 3:54 am

When you’re up against such an idiot’s idea of what constitutes effective propaganda, you know you’re on the home straight. It’s all getting to be a bit of a larf.

Steve Lohr
Reply to  Pointman
May 2, 2015 10:45 am

Yes, Point man. In my view of it, I believe the pig squeals the loudest when it sees the knife, and I detect an uptick in volume lately.

Reply to  Pointman
May 2, 2015 2:47 pm

I agree, Pointman. There is something to be had from telling the truth (with data).

Mike McMillan
May 2, 2015 3:54 am

Never cared for coffee.
Mountain Dew® works for me. The tanker truck should stop by tomorrow.

Reply to  Mike McMillan
May 2, 2015 2:44 pm

Guess where the caffeine in soda comes from? You got it, coffee!

Alan the Brit
May 2, 2015 3:56 am

Err, isn’t there an awful lot of coffee in Brazil?

May 2, 2015 4:17 am

I think this is appropriate here.

Reply to  LewSkannen
May 2, 2015 2:31 pm

That false prophet skit is a perfect illustration of what’s going on here.

May 2, 2015 4:21 am

I see a large price increase in the near future.

May 2, 2015 4:30 am

And I thought the main threat to coffee was the occasional frost.

David Schofield
May 2, 2015 4:33 am

In the UK in about 1975 the price of coffee increased massively due to a frost in Brazil. The price never went down again.

May 2, 2015 4:35 am

A shortage of coffee should increase prices. A winning situation for growers. Well perhaps the middlemen.

May 2, 2015 4:41 am

Enough is enough! I put up with a lot from the warmulists and alarmists, but I will not tolerate them threatening my coffee. Now they have a fight on their hands.
If it is war they want, then it is war they shall have. Minister, assemble the fleet!

Reply to  TonyL
May 2, 2015 2:50 pm

Aye, aye, Sir!

May 2, 2015 4:54 am

“Coffee prices fall on bumper crop prospects in Brazil…/TextView
17 Mar 2015 – Indian coffee growers are worried with bean prices dropping in the past few … that Brazil would harvest a betterthan-expected crop in 2015-16″

May 2, 2015 4:56 am

I fancy a cup of tea

Reply to  MikeB
May 2, 2015 5:31 am

exactly, who needs coffee when we have tea? 🙂

Reply to  Ayesha
May 2, 2015 6:50 am

coffee for me in the morning, iced tea in the afternoon to beat the heat

Reply to  Ayesha
May 2, 2015 7:14 am

Tea is a crutch for people who can’t handle coffee 😉

James Bull
Reply to  Ayesha
May 3, 2015 12:38 am

I sit here sipping my 1 1/2 pint mug of hot TEA enjoying the flavour and feeling of peace that it brings as I start a new day wondering what God will give from his bounty. And we get more and more the worlds going to end and mankind is the cause and its eradication is the only cure and I am cheered that there are so many who are here to brighten my day.
James Bull

May 2, 2015 4:59 am

The wamistas must be the most negative group of people I have had the misfortune to encounter. Is there no good things that may happen as a result of AGW? Oh sorry I forgot, AGW isn’t happening anyway.

Reply to  andrewmharding
May 2, 2015 3:09 pm

The 1°C of warming from 1910 to 1998 that they blame 100% on man-made increased atmospheric CO2 has been good, not just benign.
The CO2 itself, has fed green plants:
Hurricanes are less frequent and less powerful:

Tom J
May 2, 2015 5:06 am

“But if you look at … east African countries, you have plateaus and a lot of areas at higher altitudes, so they will lose much less.”
Oh, for some reason I think coffee production is dropping a lot more in Yemen right now than he thinks. Everything, everything, everything is not about climate change.

May 2, 2015 5:08 am

Add it to “The List.”

michael hart
Reply to  Gamecock
May 2, 2015 10:22 am

Number watch already did. Three articles dating back to 2008/9.

Reply to  michael hart
May 2, 2015 11:16 am

Wow! Déjà vu, all over again!

Greg Woods
May 2, 2015 5:25 am

Danger, danger, Will Robinson! Can it be that all of these threats about what will occur because of CAGW are just to convince otherwise sane people to join the crusade? I mean coffee – I couldn’t live without coffee – therefore, I must support the CO2 Alarmists. Luckily, I live here in Colombia, and am enjoying a fresh cup of coffee (tinto, aqui) right now. I won’t panic right now, maybe later.

Anthony S
Reply to  Greg Woods
May 2, 2015 5:51 pm

The same has been tried with chocolate too.

Komrade Kuma
May 2, 2015 5:26 am

One sure way to scare the living daylights out the green-left-hipster-alarmist true believers – invoke a threat to the coffee supply.

May 2, 2015 5:30 am

So we won’t have “Arabica”. Big deal.
Two of the solutions can be:
1.To have an artificial flavor for Arabica developed before hand. After all we have artificial flavors for almost every kind of food available in our stores.(Although this wont please the connoisseurs)
2. Where are the scientists? Can’t they produce a climate resistant strain of this coffee? They should have a field day with this. Next headline “Scientists avert coffee catastrophe”.
Though I’m still not sure if it’s a coffee ‘catastrophe’. We could do a Marie Antoinette and tell them to have tea.

Keith Willshaw
Reply to  Ayesha
May 2, 2015 7:10 am

As it happens the world’s second largest coffee producer is rapidly expanding its production of Arabica in its northern highlands region, That country is Vietnam.

Reply to  Ayesha
May 2, 2015 2:49 pm

Sadly arabica coffee is a tetraploid. this makes selective breeding basically impossible, nevermind the fact that these are not plants being grown by American or European agribusinesses. They did sequence the robusta genome though…

May 2, 2015 6:06 am

Guardian is doing its bit for recycling. This story has done the rounds before, thereby saving several grams of CO2 by not having to think of a new one.

Bruce Cobb
May 2, 2015 6:10 am

Must be about time for them to recycle the climate “threat” to haggis. Goodness, the children won’t know what haggis is!

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 2, 2015 2:54 pm

So….how do we accelerate global warming? Buy huge SUVs and run them with the AC cranked? I’ll be at the dealer tomorrow.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 2, 2015 9:02 pm

Isn’t it child abuse to describe haggis making to a child?

May 2, 2015 6:17 am

It’s obvious, rather than adapt to any change, mankind should scrap all modern prosperity and cede liberty to a world government. This new government will control the climate of the Earth and save Vanuatu and coffee. We skeptics won’t be allowed to have coffee or freedom. Vanuatu’s tourist must now row there but coffee will be served.

May 2, 2015 6:45 am

Frankly it seems a bit of a stretch, to describe this outcome as a “catastrophe”.

You’ve never seen me without my coffee in the morning. Catastrophic? not exactly, but it’s ugly. 😉

Stevan Makarevich
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 2, 2015 8:56 am

Same here, and the other extreme isn’t too pretty either (I get more done but the results are questionable) – life is a fine balancing act

Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 2, 2015 9:59 am

You guys have been warned, so get ready to go on tea instead, the much better choice.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 3, 2015 2:39 am

First they came for your coffee, then they’ll come for your tea. Be warned.

May 2, 2015 6:46 am

article…”change = catastrophe”.
“I did not know THAT”—-Johnny Carson (the late comedic scientist)
” Change is life. No change is death.”—-Mom. Well, that’s Mom for ya…always the sensible scientist. No research bucks for Mom!

May 2, 2015 6:47 am


Yer darn tootin’, DocWat. Everybody knows yer suppose ta start yer day with a couple o’ shots of red eye.

Like an old friend used to tell me, you can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.

Reply to  markbofill
May 2, 2015 7:24 pm

:o) That tickled my funny bone, Mark.

May 2, 2015 6:58 am

welll the world is now reconsidering the 2’C limit as being inadequate. I think what we really need to do is have an agreement where we agree to cool the earth by 0.5’C just to be on the safe side.

Keith Willshaw
May 2, 2015 7:03 am

Interesting that there is no mention of the period when coffee production was REALLY hit hard. During the cold period of the 1970’s . Frosts devastated coffee production in the mid 70’s with the frost of 1975 destroying more than 2/3rds of the crop and killing many trees which in turn led to a doubling of its price.,2319051&hl=en

May 2, 2015 7:06 am

With a warming climate, they’ll just have to move coffee plantations farther from the equator. For example hey’re already growing coffee in Southern California. UC Ag Extension is advising. And for super-fresh, no-transportation/low CO2 footprint, they’re promoting backyard home-growing. Of course if coffee gets expensive, you might need to get a pit bull or rottie to protect your beans while you’re at work.

May 2, 2015 7:06 am

This study is based on obsolete models prepared over 20 years ago. I can’t figure out what CO2 concentration or temperature curves they used. These studies are prone to use inadequate data sets, which makes them fairly useless, even if one believes the IPCC story line.

May 2, 2015 7:07 am


With global temperatures forecast to increase by 2C-2.5C over the next few decades, a report predicts that some of the major coffee producing countries will suffer serious losses, reducing supplies and driving up prices.

I wonder. Who forecasts 2-2.5 degree increase in the next few (how many) decades? Where Coffea arabica grows?

Leo Morgan
May 2, 2015 7:07 am

I remember reading an Australian Government report that said we could expect Australian sugar cane productivity to increase 500%, but that it would be subject to competition from Brazil that could expect even greater improvements.
This was spun by Alarmists into an Australian crop disaster.

David Chappell
May 2, 2015 7:17 am

“…may require specific policies and strategies to ensure that expansion of coffee farmlands takes place in climatically, pedologically and ecologically suitable areas.”
Well, who would think of trying to grow coffee in an unsuitable place? Oh sorry, I forgot it’s academics talking about politicians. Though given the experience of, for instance, the British government and the infamous groundnut scheme (and no doubt many similar FUBARs), it may indeed be wise advice.

Samuel C Cogar
May 2, 2015 7:23 am

I was just doing a little research reading to find out if the above claimed “climate catastrophe for all coffee producers” would cause the same problems for most all tea producers.
And what I found was utterly amazing.
“DUH”, the tea producers know more about the “warming” of the climate than 97% (HA) of the Degreed expert Climate Scientists do, …… to wit (my BOLD):

Climate and geography are key factors in determining both where tea can be grown, and how the tea grown in a particular region tastes. This page explains how geography influences climate, with an eye towards understanding the cultivation of the tea plant.
Moisture moderates climate
Water holds heat better than any other common substance in our environment. Both bodies of water, such as the ocean or large lakes, as well as the water vapor in air, hold considerable amounts of heat. A dry region can heat up and cool off quickly, whereas regions that have more water thus tend to warm up and cool down more slowly. Water thus moderates the temperatures in a region.
The phenomenon of water moderating climate explains how there can be two commercial tea operations in the United States, in a region usually considered too cold to grow tea: both are near water, one in coastal South Carolina, moderated by the Atlantic ocean, and the other in Washington State, moderated by the Pacific ocean. Similarly, in Turkey, tea is grown on the north coast, which has a mild climate moderated by the Black Sea. Iran also grows tea, in the region bordering the Caspian sea.
Excerpted from

The CO2 only provides …. “the food for life”, …… whereas the H2O vapor provides …. “the warmth to sustain life”.

Steve P
May 2, 2015 7:26 am

In addition to its renowned morning energizing effect, coffee has numerous health benefits.

Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the U.S., according to researchers at the University of Scranton.
Joe Vinson, Ph.D., lead author of the study, said that “Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close.”
Green tea is also a good source of antioxidants.
Coffee may be able to help you lose weight:

Did you know that caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat burning supplement?
There’s a good reason for that… caffeine is one of the very few natural substances that have actually been proven to aid fat burning.
Coffee grounds can improve soil quality. They make a great foundation for a compost heap, which may accommodate almost all of your kitchen waste, meat & oils excepted.

In summary, the available plant essential elements which will be substantially improved where the coffee grounds are used as a soil amendment, include phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and copper.
I drink my coffee black, for the most part, but mix it up with cafe au lait, hot or iced, which some purists would call white coffee. However, I never add sugar – neither to coffee nor to anything else. I don’t feed the hummingbirds any more, so I have no use for sugar.
By contrast, anything coming out of the Grauniad these days must be taken with a grain of salt, something many of us over here in the colonies recognize.

Tom Crozier
May 2, 2015 7:30 am

Actually the coffee itself causes catastrophes in virtually all economies which become dependent on its production.
It’s a fascinating story beginning in Ethiopia, the only place where it is indigenous.
See “Uncommon Grounds”, Pendergrast, 1999.

Reply to  Tom Crozier
May 2, 2015 9:37 am

“Actually the coffee itself causes catastrophes in virtually all economies which become dependent on its production. ”
Anyone who becomes dependent on one commodity or product will suffer catastrophically when demand / price goes down, so that’s kinda self-evident.
But the story you linked to is actually a good read, thanks.

Tom Crozier
Reply to  DirkH
May 2, 2015 10:54 am

You are right DirkH. Because it is so profitable when it works, coffee seems to have a strong tendency to create single commodity economies where much of the workforce becomes dependent on it alone, sometimes for generations.

Ian L. McQueen
May 2, 2015 7:58 am

I googled “WHAT IS THE TEMPERATURE RANGE FOR GROWING COFFEE PLANTS?” and got a number of hits. A useful one was “”. Although the conditions are limiting, I believe that the main limiting factor is the relatively low volume of beans produced per plant, meaning that only areas with relatively low incomes are suitable for the manual aspects of producing the beans (or cherries).
Apologies for introducing serious thoughts here…..
Ian M

Greg Woods
Reply to  Ian L. McQueen
May 2, 2015 8:54 am

As a long-time resident of both Costa Rica and Colombia, and a coffee drinker, I will testify as to the intensity of labor involved in its production. I have picked coffee beans on extreme hillsides. It is no fun, especially if it has been raining. As these nations, and other coffee-producing regions improve their economies (if Warmistas don’t prevent that from happening) then the price of coffee can only go up.

Reply to  Ian L. McQueen
May 2, 2015 9:45 am

Every “mountain grown” coffee bean you have ever seen or tasted was picked by the two fingers of a human being. In a cluster of coffee cherries, individual cherries ripen at different times. Therefore, the pickers have to move through a field several times over the course of several weeks. The more perfectly ripe cherries are picked, the higher the quality of the coffee, but the more time and effort needed to harvest. Indeed, the high value producers are moving into very specific microclimates, much like wine growers and setting up fair trade policies for their workers.
Mechanical harvesters can only be used in flat lands (robusta) and of course have no way to distinguish between ripe and green cherries. The result is predictable – bunker oil, but lots of it.
Look at it this way – millions of people are employed picking coffee who would otherwise have no jobs at all. Given their modest lifestyle (compared to the Starbucks consumers), picking coffee provides them a solid living with lots of time off to do other things.

Tom Crozier
May 2, 2015 8:13 am

It is very sensitive to local microclimates, altitude, shade or sunlight, and other environmental factors. That’s one of the reasons it has been introduced, thrived for a while, died out, and then planted elsewhere in the world so many times over the centuries.
I’ve had a small coffee farm in Nicaragua for 15 years and can’t remember a single time when the industry wasn’t in trouble for one reason or other.

Steve P
Reply to  Tom Crozier
May 2, 2015 9:23 am

Is your farm a shade, or monoculture operation?

Tom Crozier
Reply to  Steve P
May 2, 2015 9:40 am

Shade, on the side of the Mombacho Volcano near Granada.

Tom Crozier
Reply to  Steve P
May 2, 2015 9:43 am

Pero hay muchos monos en los árboles 😉

Steve P
Reply to  Steve P
May 2, 2015 9:48 am

And birds too, I would imagine.

Tom Crozier
Reply to  Steve P
May 2, 2015 9:58 am

Oh yes, all with beautiful plumage…

Reply to  Tom Crozier
May 2, 2015 10:14 am

Tom, if you come to Boquete for a cupping, look me up. Contact info at
Pero, los monos no se pueden cosechar el cafe sin microprocesadores implantados… 🙂

Tom Crozier
Reply to  markopanama
May 2, 2015 10:29 am

Jajajaja. Sin tirar mierda tampoco.
I’ve been thinking of heading down there later this year. Making a note of your website.

Reply to  markopanama
May 2, 2015 3:27 pm

Marco – Thanks for your site…I am a wood turner and love beautiful wood. I’ve never heard of “boquete” before. Are all the colors natural or are some of them dyed? The purple looks very much like purpleheart.
Gracias (that’s about the limit of my Spanish)!

Tom Crozier
Reply to  markopanama
May 2, 2015 4:36 pm

MJ – Boquete is a town in Panama where Marko has his shop, unless I’m very mistaken.,_Chiriqu%C3%AD

Mike Maguire
May 2, 2015 8:43 am

Isn’t it strange that climate change only causes bad things, including worse conditions for crops?
One would think that a colder planet with low CO2 would be best for growing.
Of course it’s the complete opposite. In #1 coffee producer Brazil, the catastrophe’s to production were most often from frosts/freezes until the 1970’s. A mass migration of production moved growers closer to the equator, from Parana to Minas Gerais.
Severe freezes in 1994 still managed to hit that far north but this greatly lessened the threat of cold, as did some beneficial warming in the 1980’s/90’s.
Coffee growers suffered a severe natural drought in Brazil in 2014, with that region having experienced severe droughts in the past and in fact, the increase in CO2 allowed coffee to do much better than expected during the hot/dry weather.
Ironically, even though almost all crops benefit greatly from increased CO2, studies show that coffee, because it is more of a woody stemmed plant, really a tree that benefits more than almost all the others.
The increase from 280ppm to 400ppm has likely increased growth of coffee plants by close to 50% under many conditions.
I forecast crop yields for global crops, including coffee for a living. The author of this study is living in the world of models and climate change/global warming funding. In the real world, where real coffee is grown under real weather/climate and CO2 conditions, this guy would be out of a job.

Arno Arrak
May 2, 2015 8:49 am

None of these catastrophic coffee losses will happen if their predictions of global warming are wrong. And they are wrong. Enumerating places that will suffer as though the predicted losses were real is an asininity. Not only is warming missing today, it has been missing for 18 years. At the same time, atmospheric carbon dioxide has steadily increased and yet it has been unable to cause any of the warming predicted by the greenhouse theory of Arrhenius. This is an unquestionably false prediction and with it the Arrhenius greenhouse theory, in use by IPCC, is made invalid. It belongs in the waste basket of history, the final resting place of phlogiston. The correct greenhouse theory to use is the Miskolczi greenhouse theory that came out in 2007. Its prediction is simple: addition of carbon dioxide to air does not warm the air. As a matter of fact, addition of CO2 to air does not do anything at all even if you double the amount. From this it follows that the so-called “climate sensitivity” is a big, fat zero. There is more to it. Start working on Miskolczi’s math if you want to fully understand his theory. That theory, and not some cockamamie nineteenth century relic, is what governs our climate.

May 2, 2015 8:57 am

Is there anything CO2 can’t do?

Steve P
Reply to  sunsettommy
May 2, 2015 9:10 am

Get the Chilcot Report released?

May 2, 2015 9:21 am

If only there were some miraculous, international, self-organizing mechanism for effortlessly adapting to whatever change may come, while allocating resources in the most economic and beneficial manner for mankind … if only we had something, like … I don’t know … the free market.

May 2, 2015 9:23 am

“In Brazil, they produce coffee on the plains and don’t have any mountains so they can’t move up,”
They can’t move up, but they can move away from the equator.

Mike Maguire
Reply to  MarkW
May 2, 2015 10:24 am

“They can’t move up, but they can move away from the equator”
Moving coffee plantations back south, away from the equator would be the worst move, making them vulnerable to the biggest threat………..frost. This is why they moved towards the equator in the first place, where they are now. Frequent, catastrophic frost/freezes for decades hit coffee growers farther south.
In fact, if they were in those old, farther from the equator locations, in the Summer of 2013, there would have been major damage from the extreme cold that only hit the most extreme south locations of the coffee belt.
Fact is, they are just fine in Brazil at the current location which has the perfect soil/altitude and climate for growing Arabica coffee.
Don’t let this bogus study with bad/wrong assumptions cause you to think otherwise:
“Without new strategies, says the study, Brazil alone can expect its current arabica production to drop by 25% by 2050.”
People that make ludicrous statements like that and put out junk agronomy research studies like this should be held accountable, not rewarded with funding to do more studies that are completely detached from the real world.

Mike Maguire
Reply to  Mike Maguire
May 2, 2015 10:44 am

“In fact, if they were in those old, farther from the equator locations, in the Summer of 2013, there would have been major damage from the extreme cold that only hit the most extreme south locations of the coffee belt.”
Excuse me, July 2013 was our Summer, here in the Northern Hemisphere but it was the Winter in the Southern Hemisphere/Brazil.
Far Southern Brazil had hard freezes and even snow in July 2013 in places that used to grow coffee from the 1970’s and prior.
In the current, farther north location, there was very little damage(limited to the far south)
2 freezes early in their Winter of 1994, however did push far enough towards the equator to severely damage coffee at these farther north locations…………….so they are not completely without risk of cold damage.
The one listed below in 2000 was very minor.
You will note the numerous frosts in the 50’s-70’s………during modest global cooling and the farther south location for coffee growing.
The movement north, towards the equator and some help from global warming in the 1980’s/90’s, as well as the increase in CO2 all contributed in bumper coffee harvests thru much of that period.
The almost freezes in the Winter of 2013, were a result of a shift in the natural cycle, back to one similar to where we were in during the global cooling cycle in the 1950’s-70’s.
This is having a profound effect on global temperatures, including a stalling out of the warming in the 80’s/90’s.

May 2, 2015 9:39 am

Here is the conclusion that I’ve come to with Climate Change:
Food will grow in some places not others
Animals, sea life, and humans will die
It’ll be hot in some places, cold in others. Some places will experience drought and others flood.
Seriously, doesn’t everyone not see that this stuff happens anyways?!

May 2, 2015 10:04 am

Let me know when there is going to be a beer catastrophe. That will get my attention

Tom Crozier
Reply to  Charlie
May 2, 2015 10:16 am

From the link to Pendergrast above:
“By 1777 the hot beverage had become entirely too popular for Frederick the Great, who issued a manifesto in favor of Germany’s more traditional drink: ‘It is disgusting to notice the increase in the quantity of coffee used by my subjects, and the like amount of money that goes out of the country in consequence. My people must drink beer. His Majesty was brought up on beer, and so were his ancestors.'”

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Charlie
May 2, 2015 12:07 pm

Or a donut disaster.

May 2, 2015 10:52 am

Well, we know that the Guardian always gets it right. I adapted an article from the Guardian in 1998 to produce this for my Economics pupils:
Meltdown for chocoholics
Start hoarding now. A new type of the lethal black pod disease is threatening more than a million tons of cocoa in the Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer. In Brazil, another major producer, a fungus known as Witches Broom has been attacking cacao trees. Food experts from the world’s biggest confectioners are predicting a world shortage of chocolate. A leading restaurant owner has warned that chocolate desserts could soon cost the same as a main course.
“There will always be chocolate, it will just be very expensive,” said Eamon Roche, co-owner of Kiosk, a New York restaurant.
The situation is so bad that executives from manufacturers Nestlé, Cadbury, M&M/Mars and Hershey have held urgent talks on the problem.
While worldwide demand for chocolate continues to grow, rainforest, in whose shade cacao trees thrive, is being cut down rapidly. “We may be going back to the early 1900s,” said Mr Roche, “when only rich people could afford to buy chocolate.”
Adapted from an article by Joanna Coles (Guardian 5th May 1998)
Joanna Coles went on to become editor-in-chief of the US edition of Cosmopolitan.

Tom Crozier
Reply to  Alba
May 2, 2015 11:11 am

Seems they are still predicting the same disaster; and with respect to the May 1998 prediction, I find this quote priceless:
“In 2000, oversupply of beans saw prices slump to a 27-year low of around $714 a tonne.”

Reply to  Alba
May 2, 2015 2:34 pm

They make so many predictions that just by the law of averages, you’d think they’d get one right now and then, but they never seem to.
Someone should setup a betting shop where people could wager in their predictions. The only problem is that nobody would bet a red cent that they’d ever be right about anything.

Reply to  Alba
May 3, 2015 10:17 am

Bananas too! The variety we all eat, the Cavendish, has been on the brink of calamity for a couple decades now. So far, people have managed to stay ahead of the blights, despite predictions like this from the NY Times.

May 2, 2015 12:18 pm

here is the real deal
it is climate change that is going to do in the coffee crops. When the next glaciation comes the coffee crops will be diminished. This is my prediction. Send me grant money and I will make more predictions.

May 2, 2015 12:38 pm

Cold weather is worse for coffee – all seven of mine died over the last winter from cold. One was still making berries long into fall.

Pamela Gray
May 2, 2015 2:57 pm

I am going to be planning Honey Locust in my currently bare 3/4 acre property. Honey Locust beans and pods are delicious when still green and the beans can be roasted for “coffee”.

Gary Pearse
May 2, 2015 3:02 pm

I guess genetically modified is a no-no. All these malthusians seem totally unaware how human ingenuity responds to any problem and its huge place in the economics and general wellbeing of the species- To them its a static world and we are all helpless if it changes! It makes them seem…unhuman?
The degree and dynamism of human ingenuity had not progressed far enought to gauge in Malthus’s time so perhaps he can be excused more legitimately than today’s clones who have (unwittingly?) lived through the most remarkable several decades of human ingenuity. I guess you can give a chimp a cell phone and he just pushes the buttons.

Tom Crozier
Reply to  Gary Pearse
May 2, 2015 4:48 pm

I’ve thought that many times, but have never seen it stated so succinctly.

May 2, 2015 3:14 pm

PARIS!!!!! Here we come!

May 2, 2015 3:16 pm

In other words, changes in the climate, which have always occurred, could affect where coffee beans are grown. Just like how they were growing great grapes for wine in England during the Medieval Warm Period, and without gen mod.

Tom Crozier
Reply to  William Teach
May 2, 2015 4:37 pm


May 2, 2015 8:33 pm

No coffee?

May 3, 2015 2:18 am

It is a catastroffee

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights