Climate Change to cause “dramatic” beer shortages

From the “you’re drunk at the lab, go home” department comes this bit of ridiculous scare mongering from the university that brought us ClimateGate.

Inclined Glass of beer

Severe climate events could cause shortages in the global beer supply, according to new research involving the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The study warns that increasingly widespread and severe drought and heat may cause substantial decreases in barley yields worldwide, affecting the supply used to make beer, and ultimately resulting in “dramatic” falls in beer consumption and rises in beer prices.

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in the world by volume consumed. Although the frequency and severity of drought and heat extremes increase substantially in a range of future climate scenarios, the vulnerability of beer supply to such extremes has never been assessed.

In recent years, the beer sector has consumed around 17% of global barley production, but this share varies drastically across major beer-producing countries, for example from 83% in Brazil to 9% in Australia. Results from the new study reveal potential average yield losses ranging from 3% to 17%, depending on the severity of the conditions. Decreases in the global supply of barley lead to proportionally larger decreases in barley used to make beer.

During the most severe climate events, the results indicate that global beer consumption would decline by 16%, or 29 billion litres – roughly equal to the total annual beer consumption in the US – and that beer prices would on average double. Even in less severe extreme events, beer consumption drops by 4% and prices rise by 15%.

The findings, published today in Nature Plants, suggest that total beer consumption decreases most under climate change in the countries that consumed the most beer by volume in recent years. For example, the volume consumed in China – today the largest consuming country – falls by more than any other country as the severity of extreme events increases, and by 4.34 billion litres in the most severe.

In the UK, beer consumption could fall by between 0.37 billion and 1.33 billion litres, while the price could as much as double. Consumption in the US could decrease by between 1.08 billion and 3.48 billion litres.

Co-ordinator of the research and lead UK author Dabo Guan, professor of climate change economics at UEA’s School of International Development, said: “Increasingly research has begun to project the impacts of climate change on world food production, focusing on staple crops such as wheat, maize, soybean, and rice.

“However, if adaptation efforts prioritise necessities, climate change may undermine the availability, stability and access to ‘luxury’ goods to a greater extent than staple foods. People’s diet security is equally important to food security in many aspects of society.

“Although some attention has been paid to the potential impacts of climate change on luxury crops such as wine and coffee, the impacts on beer have not been carefully evaluated. A sufficient beer supply may help with the stability of entertainment and communication in society.”

Prof Guan added: “While the effects on beer may seem modest in comparison to many of the other – some life-threatening – impacts of climate change, there is nonetheless something fundamental in the cross-cultural appreciation of beer.

“It may be argued that consuming less beer isn’t itself disastrous, and may even have health benefits. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that for millions of people around the world, the climate impacts on beer availability and price will add insult to injury.”

The international study involved researchers from the UK, China, Mexico, and the US, who identified extreme climate events and modelled the impacts of these on barley yields in 34 world regions. They then examined the effects of the resulting barley supply shock on the supply and price of beer in each region under a range of future climate scenarios.

Some countries with smaller total beer consumption face huge reductions in their beer consumption: the volume of beer consumed in Argentina falls by 0.53 billion litres, equivalent to a 32% reduction, during more severe climate events. Even in the least severe climate events, total beer consumption in Argentina and Canada decreases by 0.27 billion litres (16%) and 0.22 billion litres (11%) respectively.

Countries where beer is currently most expensive, for example Australia and Japan, are not necessarily where future price shocks will be the greatest. Changes in the price of beer in a country relates to consumers’ ability and willingness to pay more for beer rather than consume less, such that the largest price increases are concentrated in relatively affluent and historically beer-loving countries.

The researchers suggest that changes in barley supply due to extreme events will affect the barley available for making beer differently in each region, as the allocation of barley among livestock feed, beer brewing, and other uses will depend on region-specific prices and demand flexibilities as different industries seek to maximize profits.

Their findings show that global and country-level barley supply declines progressively in more severe extreme event years, with the largest mean supply decreasing by 27-38% in some European countries, such as Belgium, the Czech Republic and Germany.

The study was supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the British Academy and Philip Leverhulme Prize.

The paper:

‘Decreases in global beer supply due to extreme drought and heat’, Wei Xie, Wei Xiong, Jie Pan, Tariq Ali, Qi Cui, Dabo Guan, Jing Meng, Nathaniel D Mueller, Erda Lin, and Steven J Davis, is published in Nature Plants. DOI: 10.1038/s41477-018-0263-1.

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October 15, 2018 9:35 am

We are doomed, DOOMED! Funny, I see reports about droughts and they seem to always be the same places. Wonder why that is? And floods, they seem to hit the same places over and over, almost like a pattern of some sort. Weird.

Reply to  2hotel9
October 15, 2018 9:55 am

What?? Beer shortage? This is starting to get serious! I think I better forget about buying that yacht and switch to a sailboat.

Martin A
Reply to  Trebal
October 16, 2018 12:23 am

It’s worse than we thought.

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  2hotel9
October 15, 2018 11:29 am

[drought and heat MAY cause substantial decreases in barley yields worldwide, affecting the supply used to make beer, and ultimately resulting in “dramatic” falls in beer consumption and rises in beer prices.]

Would that save the planet? How about a beer tax?

Charles Higley(@higley7)
Reply to  Curious George
October 15, 2018 11:43 am

How does a decrease in consumption lead to increased prices? That defies the Law of Supply and Demand. Or are these economists drunk while doing these studies?

If they mean a decrease in production leads to increased prices, that’s given. But, they say the former relationship more than once. It makes no sense.

Reply to  Charles Higley
October 15, 2018 1:00 pm

An increase in price can lead to a decrease in consumption.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  MarkW
October 15, 2018 4:45 pm

Mark, we farming types have a choice as to what we grow, as long as it does well in our region. When the price goes high enough on a certain crop, we can switch to that crop. These folks don’t really have a grip on reality, for sure.

Reply to  Charles Higley
October 15, 2018 2:40 pm

Decrease in consumption, not demand to consume. That said, this is all idiocy, even from Warmunism.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Curious George
October 15, 2018 5:19 pm

In all the countries I have lived in there was, and is, a beer tax and yet, it has done nothing for the weather.

Patrick McGuinness
October 15, 2018 9:39 am

Please deconstruct this latest absurdity, blaming climate change for MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES:
Apparently a 0.5% increase in mental health issues in warmer months means that climate change drives us crazy … Phew! I need a beer!

” Using daily meteorological data coupled with information from nearly 2 million randomly sampled US residents across a decade of data collection, we find that experience with hotter temperatures and added precipitation each worsen mental health, that multiyear warming associates with an increased prevalence of mental health issues, and that exposure to tropical cyclones, likely to increase in frequency and intensity in the future, is linked to worsened mental health.”

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Patrick McGuinness
October 15, 2018 4:48 pm

Talk about correlation assumed as causation…

October 15, 2018 9:39 am

“Weasel, weasel, weasel.”

October 15, 2018 9:44 am

…gotta get the bubbas on board

October 15, 2018 9:46 am

Funny, i thought all the doom and gloom temp predictions required a water vapour feedback. Wonder where all that extra water’s going to go? Apparently, not into precipitation….

Reply to  Blunderbunny
October 15, 2018 1:49 pm

CO2 causes precipitation to avoid barley.

CO2 is truly the magic gas!

October 15, 2018 9:46 am

Some archaeologists reckon farming was invented to make beer. 1920s U.S. prohibition could not stop it. Beer is so important. I have faith that humanity will find a way around this one.

Pamele Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Mark Pawelek
October 15, 2018 10:41 am

My grandmother brewed beer in the basement of her Philadelphia brownstone before, during, and after Prohibition, never missing a beat, even when the kittens clambered into the crock and she found them swimming. That batch went down in history as her best ever, the Scratch was the one to which all other batches were compared and frequently found wanting.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Pamele Matlack-Klein
October 15, 2018 11:04 am

Old joke:

Workers from the local brewery came to call at the home of another worker to give his wife the sad news that her husband had fallen into the giant beer vat and drowned.

Wife: “That’s terrible! But tell me: at least was it quick?”

Worker: “Sadly, no. Truth is he had to get out three times to pee.”

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
October 15, 2018 11:12 am

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

Boom, Boom!

The oldies are the goodies. 🙂

October 15, 2018 9:48 am

Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of Alarmist KoolAid to go around

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Kevin
October 15, 2018 4:54 pm

Ah, the beverage of the carbon prohibitionists. 🍻

October 15, 2018 9:52 am

I thought the leftist loons would have thought that is a good thing reduced domestic violence and the like. I guess they figure the poor plebs can’t live without there beer so it’s a good scare story.

Reply to  LdB
October 15, 2018 11:08 am


And that my friend is the crux of the matter, and it all has to do with the National Health Service in the UK. You will of course note this is a British study.

You see, successive governments have had an ongoing agenda to reduce cost in the NHS. So, they started a campaign of making us all healthier here so no one goes to hospital. It began with smoking and there was a massive campaign against it backed by the BBC, Doctors, politicians, health ‘guru’s’ etc. and today we have ciggies locked behind cabinets in shops so no one is tempted to buy them just because they see them.

Then it moved onto alcohol, increasing taxes until no one could afford to drink in pubs. Now a communal institution, the great British Pub is under threat with hundreds closing a year (if not thousands) because publicans can’t make a living.

Simultaneously we have had a barrage of propaganda over the last 30 years or so from the BBC, on behalf of our government beginning with the late, great, Terry Wogan’s fight the flab (which was a complete giggle as he obviously took no notice of it whatsoever) succeeded by the gibbering idiot Chris Evans who went from borderline alcoholic into a fitness freak. Every morning the nation wakes up stories of his latest physical accomplishments whilst gushingly tells his audience how good it is to be thin and uber healthy. The daily feast of obesity related conditions is served up by Jeremy Vine, a skinny, committed London cyclist so, of course, he’s one of the morally superior, entitled road hogs with no awareness of anyone else on the road or the pavement.

This is all, naturally, in a mad panic to deal with the demographic time bomb which everyone knew about but no one did anything about, we are all living longer and the NHS is full of us old fogies. Generations of politicians warned time and time again it was coming and they kicked the can down the road.

Tonight the BBC 6 O’ Clock News was contaminated by Shukman dribbling bile about climate change and the IPCC report, with images of hurricanes and floods, and dire warnings of another 0.5°C warming, and the threat of climate contamination and earthquakes by fracking. All in a short 2 minute presentation! But of course the UK can afford to spunk billions of climate change but can’t afford to spend it on more pressing matters, the nations health. How many hospitals could we have built with the money wasted so far? How many Doctors and Nurses could we afford, from the UK, were we able to pay them properly and give them acceptable conditions instead of overworking them like slaves.

Sorry, rant over.

I could go on, and on, and on!

Reply to  HotScot
October 15, 2018 1:03 pm

And sometimes it seems like you do.

Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
Bad keyboard, bad.

Reply to  HotScot
October 15, 2018 2:42 pm

Don’t stop. People outside the UK do not realise just how far into an insane fantasy world our politicians and journalists have marched, and it could and will happen to other nations.

Reply to  mikewaite
October 15, 2018 3:48 pm

There was I, in Sarf Lunnon, thinking that nowhere else is quite as insane as our politicians.
Choice at the moment is
May – viscerally against the people’s Brexit;
Corbyn – viscerally in favour of Poisoner Putin’s machinations, whatever they are;
and someone [Vincent, or similar] form the Lib Dems [who doesn’t recognise democracy when it votes against their pet vote-rigging scheme, or their love of the EUSSR] and is, anyway, leaving soon.


Coeur de Lion
October 15, 2018 9:53 am

I do wish they would say ‘global warming ‘ instead of ‘climate change’.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
October 15, 2018 12:16 pm

Whichever – but in either case, if they are talking about some potential human footprint in it, it should be AGW, ACC, or CACC. And, that goes for the skeptic side as well – the SOAF (skeptical of an anthropogenic footrint side).

Reply to  garyh845
October 16, 2018 6:28 am

No, its officially called BS!!

Dudley Horscroft(@dudleyhorscroft)
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
October 16, 2018 5:30 am

They have to say “Climate Change” as that includes the possibility that we will enter a new Ice Age. There, we said so, it is all due to ‘Climate Change’.

“Global Warming” is not quite so universal.

October 15, 2018 10:03 am

Well it is October and the Green Party just benefited in the elections in Bavaria.

October 15, 2018 10:05 am

Kaching goes the pub mill.

October 15, 2018 10:12 am

Now theyre hitting too close to home. Next thing you know they will want to only serve flat beer for what is left in the supply because the head on my beer is killing the planet.

Walt D.
October 15, 2018 10:16 am

One thing for certain if the Global Warmunists get their way, there will be no toilet paper, even though they are promising free $hit.

Al Miller
October 15, 2018 10:24 am

“widespread and severe drought and heat may” blah blah.
To which I say wide spread severely wasteful government grant money IS – not may be, causing rampant and moronic studies!

October 15, 2018 10:35 am

They’re trying to get the Aussies back in line!

Reply to  Susan
October 15, 2018 11:10 am


The BBC has a full blown climate change, terror campaign, onslaught at the moment.

Reply to  HotScot
October 15, 2018 12:35 pm

Yeah, I’d noticed!

Reply to  Susan
October 15, 2018 6:26 pm

They just have , I believe I believe .

Etienne Eccles
October 15, 2018 10:40 am

Good thing weed is becoming legal in more places. It loves warmth and high C02

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Etienne Eccles
October 15, 2018 6:30 pm

“Good thing weed is becoming legal in more places.”
That will help placate the drones in the post-climate world.

Dale S
October 15, 2018 10:50 am

Proving that global warming actually causes “extreme drought and heat” would be a useful first step in this sort of impact study. Warming so far has failed to produce any increase in drought and practically no influence on summertime maximums.

October 15, 2018 10:50 am

well, as always [daily/seasons/yearly/11 yrs/22 yrs/87 yrs/210 yrs/1000 yrs/25000 yrs/] the climate is changing.
Most recently I determined it already started globally cooling [click on my name to read my final report]
As the temperature differential between the poles and equator grows larger due to the cooling from the top, very likely something will also change on earth. Predictably, there would be a small (?) shift of cloud formation and precipitation, more towards the equator, on average. At the equator insolation is 684 W/m2 whereas on average it is 342 W/m2. So, if there are more clouds in and around the equator, this will amplify the cooling effect due to less direct natural insolation of earth (clouds deflect a lot of radiation). Furthermore, in a cooling world there is more likely less moisture in the air, but even assuming equal amounts of water vapour available in the air, a lesser amount of clouds and precipitation will be available for spreading to higher latitudes. So, a natural consequence of global cooling is that at the higher latitudes it will become cooler and/or drier.

so, yes, beer is going to get more expensive, as indeed, all other foodstuffs manufactured at the higher latitudes. Hyper food inflation like those of the 1930’s come to my mind.

Reply to  henryp
October 15, 2018 10:59 am

the DeBray solar cycle is about 2500 years, not 25000 years. That was a typo.

Dale S
October 15, 2018 11:13 am

The link to article is paywalled, but the supplementary information has some interesting stuff.

First of all, nearly all the impact error bars include the zero point — that is, even at RCP 8.5 with extreme events, they can’t exclude *positive* yield rates, though the bottom of the range is more than 40% off. Sadly, there’s nothing in the SI that shows what the models say the warming so far should have done to the yield rate, contrasted with the historical yield rate’s growth during the modern warming period. I think that’d be a fascinating comparison.

Despite the huge error bars in yield, the error bars for global beer *consumption* is curiously all topped at exactly zero. This seems implausible to me, not only because positive yield growth cannot be excluded, but also because consumption is going to drive acreage, not yield. If the people of China want more beer, farmers will plant more barley. The amount of barley acreage is not fixed by climatic conditions.

They explicitly do not consider agricultural improvement, or adaptation, or CO2 fertilization, or CO2-related drought resistance. These are no small things to ignore when trying to project future yield.

Despite these limitations, they point out that their agricultural model projects yields well in Europe, for which it was designed. So how does it do *outside* Europe in predicting yields? Figure SI-19 shows that, and the answer is that it does very badly, with both massive overprediction and underprediction.

Nothing in the SI shows any comparison for how the historical runs of the selected “Earth System Models” did in simulating the *actual* droughts and extreme heat experienced during historical period; I would think that would be a necessary first step before attempting to use them regionally in future hypothetical climates.

Reply to  Dale S
October 16, 2018 11:18 am

Have you noticed that ALL the climate change doom porn is based on model results?
And of course, we know how accurate those models are as compared to observations.
But in this case, if climate change occurs for whatever reason, why can’t farmers grow a strain of barley which has been adapted to the new climate? Isn’t that the way farming works?

I’m sure that the grains grown for the the beer described in The Hymn to Ninkasi are not the same as grown today…

Bruce Cobb
October 15, 2018 11:19 am

No! Not my beer! Auuuuuuuuggggghhhhhhhh!
Sorry, for some reason I was channeling Charlie Brown.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
October 15, 2018 11:27 am

Bruce Cobb

I used to brew my own. I’ll happily go back to doing that. I’ll use a bit more water 40 years on as the original stuff was a tad potent. 🙂

Reply to  HotScot
October 15, 2018 3:29 pm

A “tad” more “potent”? You say that as if it were a bad thing.

michael hart
October 15, 2018 11:37 am

“you’re drunk at the lab, go home” department

Since the advent of global-warming, Climatologists get to travel to many conferences in exotic foreign locations and rub shoulders with powerful people with influence. Perks of the job, I guess.

Biochemists, molecular biologists and others don’t get out the lab so much. But they do have to run an awful lot of gel-electrophoresis experiments that use 99.9% pure ethanol in the process. Just saying… that’s all.

October 15, 2018 11:41 am

Peta of Newark
October 15, 2018 11:43 am

Ain’t that sweet..

Why use barley. Y not use wheat, corn, potatoes, rice (lack of Vitamin A = not a problem).
What about Bio fuel.

Here’s a one..
What’s wrong with buying E15 petrol or any fuel with bio-fuel in it (btw, why does my VW positively insist on No Biodiesel – German innit. What happened to the Energywnedytungendiything?)
Oops. Distracted. Try again.
Get some E15 petrol and double it up with water. Let it sit.
The alcohol will attach to the water and sink.
Float the top layer (petrol) off and you’re left with vodka basically

E.G. Get 10 litres E15 petrol, add 1.5 litres of water and you get 8.5 litres pure petrol and 3 litres of 50% ABV vodka. Wicked innit.
The outlay will be £13 at today’s prices but will net you booze worth £30 and 2 gallons of fuel for free.
Wotz not 2 like?

Great also how the unit of energy (= The Joule) and as used by Climate Scientists in all their measurements of climate and subsequent calculations, was invented by the son of a brewer.
It is sooooo reassuring that they never confuse temperature with energy. A lot of people do you know.

We are in such safe hands, conscientious hard working scientists who never worry about the price of beer or when they can next piss-off down the pub – like journalists do for example.

Of course in those olden days, they knew how to live and went through 4 or 5 pints of the stuff every day. The small town near where I used to live, at one point in history, had 50 public houses. Serving a population at the time of 500. Epic.
When I was last there 2 years ago, there was one hotel bar and 2 pubs (one of which was struggling) serving a population of nearly 5,000. Really strangely, there was never a queue to get served either.
Big thanks to The Puritans.

Another puzzle was, why the beer that Joule’s father brewed was never more than 0.5% alcohol – maybe Climate Change had wasted the barley crop in those olden days also?
Even more oddly, what I’m drinking right now is 0.5% alcohol and advertised as ‘Alcohol Free’

So what’s the requirement for strong beer – Puritans again by any chance.
Then not so long ago, the landlord here (Timothy Martin, an ardent Brexiteer) informed the punters in his 1,000 or so pubs, that for every 3 pints of beer you bought, you got to drink 2 of them and one of them was for The Chancellor of the Exchequer. Nice.
Have UEA got an answer for that?
Silly me, course they have. More research and more tax.

When they get back from the pub eh?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
October 15, 2018 12:08 pm


I love your rambling posts.

Not sure I’ll try the Petrol/Vodka trick though.

John Tillman
Reply to  Peta of Newark
October 15, 2018 12:19 pm


To be beer, it has to be made with grain, so potato mash is out. Still good alcohol, but better when distilled into vodka.

Sake is called “rice wine” instead of beer because the CO2 has been bubbled away.

Rice beer is popular in the US. It’s called “Budweiser” (up to 30% rice).

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
October 15, 2018 12:21 pm

Rice, as with other small grains, is a C3 plant, but genetic modifiers are working a C4 strain.

Steven Fraser
Reply to  John Tillman
October 15, 2018 1:45 pm

That’s appropriate for a ‘boom’ing market…

John Tillman
Reply to  Steven Fraser
October 15, 2018 5:53 pm

Front toward the enemy!

John Tillman
October 15, 2018 11:49 am

Air enriched in CO2 is good for barley, a C3 plant. A warmer world would also allow barley to be grown even farther poleward than it is now.

Besides which, beer can be made from corn, a C4 plant, wheat (C3), eg Hefeweizen (50/50 barley/wheat), and other small grain (C3), such as rye, eg Roggenbier (60%), or even oats, eg oatmalt stout.

October 15, 2018 12:11 pm

More CO2 in the air
= better / faster barley growth ?

Slightly warmer at night from
greenhouse warming
= more beer drinking at night ?

Am I missing something?

Please don’t worry about
the coming beer shortages
— I already have a solution:

I have a plan,
process and
a prototype
beer recycling
machine, which
I currently call a
“Beer Receptacle”
for a new industry
I plan to start:
— The bar bathroom
beer recycling industry
… I expect
to make $$ millions.

The patented process
is a reverse process
(aka mirror-image)
of what the US
space astronauts
use for their water supply.

It’s not very appetizing,
so I won’t describe it here,
but the “customers” will be
drunk anyway, so they won’t care.

I’m still waiting for the
eventual climate
change article
on how global warming
will shrink man’s
fav-orite or-gan
— I predicted that
a decade ago,
and still think
the warmunists
will get there
some day soon !

Johann Wundersamer
October 15, 2018 12:18 pm

one of the few studies on “Climate Change” that shed light on a real problem.

Countries in temperate zones can spare areas for the production of barley, hops and malt.

For the production of beer, which has a moderate impact on the population.

Countries that need all the fertile land to feed the population can provide only the least productive areas for alcohol production:

for the cultivation of “inferior” potatoes – for the production of vodka – which has a great impact on the population.

A problem which Russia is still fighting today.

/ NO sarc

John Tillman
Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
October 15, 2018 12:23 pm

The USSR supported Cuba by buying its sugar, which was turned into vodka, from which the Communist regime made money. The Politburo wanted its subjects to smoke and drink to excess, so that they’d have to pay less in old age pensions, plus garner more in taxes.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  John Tillman
October 15, 2018 1:09 pm

John Tillman,

dumm geboren, nix dazugelernt.

October 15, 2018 12:35 pm

It’s part of the standard scare strategy where they try to make it “real” on an everyday level. They also push the line that global warming will lead to shortages of chocolate and coffee, but they tailor the message to the audience, so that women’s magazines are more likely to focus on chocolate rather than beer.

October 15, 2018 12:48 pm

But, beer is like making love in a canoe.

October 15, 2018 12:59 pm

“increasingly widespread and severe drought and heat”

They’ve been predicting this almost as long as they’ve been predicting a breakthrough in fusion power.

John Tillman
Reply to  MarkW
October 15, 2018 1:02 pm

They also can’t make up their minds as to drought or flood from global warming.

Since they need more atmospheric water vapor to generate ECS above 1.2 degrees C per doubling of CO2, there must be at least increased humidity, if not also rainfall, which presumably would condense at slightly higher altitude in warmer air.

October 15, 2018 1:12 pm

As usual the wording is “Could, could, could”.

What about less modelling and more “Facts”.


October 15, 2018 1:31 pm

Let us guess they don’t want to show their data because someone may look for something wrong with it ?

Johann Wundersamer
October 15, 2018 1:36 pm
old engineer
October 15, 2018 1:45 pm

The genesis for this study seems to lie in the idea that it is the elite that are concerned about “climate change.” (See Dr. Lindzen’s recent speech). When the warmistas wondered how to get Joe Sixpack on board, the answer was obvious: tell him climate change was going to make his beer expensive and scarce.

When checking out the reference for the paper, it was interesting to follow the money. Most of the co-authors were Chinese and funded by various agencies in China. There were three U.S. co-authors listed, all from the University of California, Irvine.

These U.S. co-authors listed their funding as being from National Science Foundation Grant: INFEWS grant EAR 1639318. From the NSF website, this almost 2 million dollar grant was to construct a computer model to: “…model the food, energy [and] water system (FEWS) nexus for California where the important interactions among these components can be comprehensively assessed using historical data. By addressing this system of systems at the intended level of spatial, temporal and mechanical detail, the project will advance the knowledge of FEW systems and how they respond to external and internal stress.”

So now you know. You throw all the info about food, energy and water into the model and out pops the answer that barley is going to be scarce, therefore your beer is going to be expensive and scarce.

Joe Chang
October 15, 2018 1:45 pm

more likely with warming, the northern latitudes will become viable for viticulture, and less land for barley,
we’re all going to be forced to become wine sippers

Tegiri Nenashi(@tegirinenashi)
October 15, 2018 1:49 pm

97% of scientists agree… And this study has been done by one of them! “Drunk at the lab” – Anthony nailed it.

Johann Wundersamer
October 15, 2018 1:54 pm

the difference is

– 5 volumes% alc in beer

– 80 volumes% in vodka

– 90 volumes% alcohol in Alaskan home brews + detergent in “dry indegenous” settlements with 1,000% profit and no taxes.

no country for old men.

October 15, 2018 1:59 pm

There was talk in Europe earlier this year of a shortage of beer being occasioned by, of all things, a shortage of bottled CO2 because the commercial suppliers had all decided to shut down at the same time for refurbishment. Link to one article here;

No climate involvement necessary at all for a beer shortage. Just messed up maintenance scheduling.

Joel O'Bryan(@joelobryan)
October 15, 2018 2:12 pm

This study was clearly not done by an economist who understands micro-economics.

These Plant scientists obviously do not understand economics of large scale agriculture.
As the price of barley goes up, more farmers will put more acres to barley production.
Problem solved.

And idea of drought extremes affecting global scale barley supply is laughable. Barley isn’t grown in the desert or marginal lands today. The IPCC evens say that wet areas will get wetter, and dry areas will get drier under climate change.

And even more to the point of how much BS this paper is, you have to go see what the authors hid in the supplemental information.

Goto section 3.3 of the SI, page 23.
They analyzed all 4 RCP scenarios in CMIP5. Even in RCP2.6 (the most optimistic), they show severe declines in production across many countries. That result right there tell you there economic model is deeply flawed.

Their barley production %change by RCP by country results are here:
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Even in their results (see figure at link above), they show US’s and Ukraine’s barley production will go up in all 4 RCP scenarios, while in “poor” Denmark’s and Ireland’s barley production will go down no matter what happens. What utter garbage.

John Tillman
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 15, 2018 2:18 pm

For Scotch drinkers, the rain in Scotland is what matters.

The cost of barley in Guiness beer or Irish whisky is practically trivial, so Irish barley production scarcely signifies.

October 15, 2018 2:32 pm

It’s amazing how the comments are a full 180 over on a tech site like arstechnica compared to here.

Mike Maguire
October 15, 2018 3:40 pm

They base this on computer models that simulate conditions for the next 100 years……….which have been exactly wrong over the past 20 years about global drought and world food production/crop yields.

1. Take note of the real world below………. world cereal production and stocks, which includes barley. They have been soaring higher, not in spite of climate change but because of it and especially the beneficially increasing CO2.

2. What happened to barley in 76 studies with an increase in CO2 of 300 parts per million?
An increase of 40.6% in biomass yields.

3. The planet is greening up. Global drought has decreased slightly, not increased.

An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

Instead of adjusting(fixing) the climate models based on the real world, they instead, stick with increasingly wrong projections and repackage them in new creative and exaggerated ways to market the scam by alarming people. This time, we have a beer catastrophe. The world has a great deal of beer drinkers……oh my, maybe this will get their attention.

Should we believe the overwhelming empirical data/evidence from the real world above?
Or, should we believe models that have been telling us the opposite of this for the past 2 decades.

CO2 Science
A weekly review and repository of scientific research findings pertaining to carbon dioxide and global change.

300 ppm

600 ppm

900 ppm
Number of Results


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Standard Error



An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.
globe of Earth from North Pole perspective

Derek Colman
October 15, 2018 4:21 pm

Oh, no, not only are my chips going to be smaller, there won’t be any beer to wash them down with. Here, take all my money if you can save my chips and beer. Wait a minute though. I seem to remember the hottest years evah resulted in a bumper barley crop. Besides that beer can be made from many other things than barley. Wheat beers are quite popular, but any plant containing sugars and not poisonous could be used.

October 15, 2018 7:34 pm

Every Sunday I shop for a 12 pack of beer. My goal is to get a medium quality beer for around a dollar a beer. Drinking a Rolling Rock right now – retailed for $10.90 for a twelve pack. And Rolling Rock is an OK beer. Moosehead and Modelo have also been very inexpensive here lately. (Arizona, USA).

CO2 is at over 400 ppm; it’s 2018. When does this beer overprice thing start? ‘Cause it hasn’t started yet. As far as my experience shows me, this is a golden age for inexpensive beer. And I don’t think climate change one way or the other has anything at all to do with beer prices.

I think it has a lot more to do with lots and lots of alternative specialty beers coming on the market and eating away at market share. I got a sixpack of something called nitro beer – it was a dark beer and it was expensive at $8.00 a sixpack. But it was really good. I’d never heard of it or seen it. So there’s lots of beer product out there right now and there’s competition for market.

October 16, 2018 1:16 am

This is great news!
A decrease in beer consumption means less drunkenness (the beer-drinkers won’t just drinnk something else as the alternatives are usually MORE expensive than beer anyway – worst case is they js they drink less of beer and the more expensive grog) and an increase in physical health.
So GlobalWarming will save BILLIONS of health-related dollars as well as a decrease in beer-fueled crimes.
Fantastic – bring it on!

gary turner
October 17, 2018 1:57 pm

I wonder if the lead author, Dr Guan, dropped the final ‘o’ in his name? He’s definitely guano crazy, if you know what I mean.

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