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

CSIRO / USQ: Coffee Supplies Threatened by Climate Change

Essay by Eric Worrall

The absurd coffee climate threat which refuses to die.

Lattes on the line as climate change threat looms

By Mibenge Nsenduluka
Updated March 10 2023 – 2:43pm, first published 2:40pm

Australia’s love affair with coffee, has the potential to hit flat white and latte sippers in the hip pocket as climate change threatens global supplies of the humble bean.

Extreme weather has steadily increased across the top 12 coffee producing regions globally over the past 40 years, putting vulnerable crops at risk.

New research from the CSIRO and University of Southern Queensland suggests concurrent climate hazards could impact international supplies.

Study lead Doug Richardson said extreme weather conditions could result in a mass shortage.

“We’re pretty confident climate change is playing a role in this because the main problem used to be conditions were too cool and now they’re often too warm and that aligns with what we know about the impacts of climate change,” he said.

“Coffee crops can fail if the annual average temperature and rainfall is not within an optimal range.”

Read more:

Why do I call the climate coffee threat absurd?

Because the reality is Coffee is a far more versatile crop than most people believe. My favourite coffee doesn’t grow in the highlands of Peru or East Africa or whatever, my favourite coffee comes from lowlands in tropical Australia – Jaques Coffee from the Atherton Tableland.

Over a century of selective breeding has produced a rugged varieties of coffee which can handle lowland conditions with frequent temperature excursions outside the optimal growing range of coffee, yet still produce a delicious beverage.

There is no climate threat to coffee. If climatic conditions in coffee growing regions slip outside the comfort range, there are plenty of South American or even East African mountain ranges which could start producing if it was a little warmer. Or they could buy some ruggedised Australian coffee, or cross with some wild strains. Simple agricultural adaption to deal with changed conditions. Or if all else fails, the genetic engineers could sort it out.

[UPDATE] I hope Eric Worrall won’t mind if I add some data to his post. I find that data is the best weapon in showing that some claim is verifiably false.

If increasing temperatures were actually a threat to coffee, we’d see it in two different measures—global annual total tonnes of coffee produced, and global annual average coffee yield (production per unit of ground area). Here are the histories of those two measures:

As you can see, the world is not in any danger of the ongoing slight warming destroying the coffee industry …

Best to all, and thanks to Eric for an interesting post,


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Tom Halla
March 10, 2023 6:15 pm

My grandfather was formerly a coffee merchant, so I tend to have a more than casual interest in the field. Most of the reported climate related incidents relating to the coffee supply are frosts, not extreme heat. Besides, the supply, and the areas growing coffee, are fairly consistently increasing, as is total production.

March 10, 2023 6:16 pm

Coffee has been under siege since the late 70s. That crisis is what prompted my first letter to a company in hopes of redress. (The taste of the family staple had recently taken a nosedive). Even in the remote place where we lived, the response from Nestle was quick. A nice package arrived and months later the coffee on the shelves was labeled with “new”. This is just another thing they want us to worry about. I’m done with that. They’ve overplayed their hand.

March 10, 2023 6:31 pm

Another thing thrown up against the wall to see if would stick. No such luck for the lefties, “climate change” is gasping for breath and the climate change cult freaks are getting desperate for something to stick. Coffee is just the latest rendition of “the sky is falling”.
Just sayin’.

Reply to  guidvce4
March 10, 2023 8:23 pm

I wonder what they think about synthetic caffeine derived from natural gas.

John Hultquist
March 10, 2023 6:35 pm

“Coffee crops can fail if the annual average temperature and rainfall is not within an optimal range.”

I’ve grown many different things and failure usually results from extremes of heat or cold, sometimes wind, sometimes insects or birds, and deer.
“Optimal” anything is hardly ever seen. “Average” is a not very useful concept.
The author of the above statement should take a class in writing, with in-class critiques.

Joao Martins
Reply to  John Hultquist
March 11, 2023 5:31 am

You are right.

“Optimum” is a word with no meaning whatsoever in Biology. It is used in many instances by biologists without a clear definition of its meaning. In the majority of the cases, it is used to refer to a MAXIMUM of one process: does that mean that thisese are the best conditions for the organism (life is an overall process, it does not reduce to a single one; and seldom the maxima of a few physiological processes occur in the same conditions)?

Also, especially in “applied” biology fields (production of foodstuffs or industrial raw materials, for instance) it represents an economic optimum, i.e., the conditions that yield a maximum profit. Economic profit has nothing to do with Biology, has no place in the real of biological sciences.

Being a biologist and given those ambiguities, my opinion is that the word “optimum” should NOT be used in ANY scientific context. Including, of course, in texts aiming at the lay public information.

Reply to  John Hultquist
March 11, 2023 7:43 am

As we all know, “Optimal” refers to the perfect “global average temperature” that existed just before the start of the industrial revolution and the CAGW caused by the resultant increase in atmospheric CO2.

You know, the little ice age, a miserable time in Europe of cold and crop failures and such. That was the Optimal for the Earth. Not so much for humans.

March 10, 2023 6:40 pm

Anything coming from CSIRO re climate ”change” can be thrown in the waste basket forth with.

March 10, 2023 7:01 pm

I’ve added a couple of data graphics to the head post to underline the good points that Eric is making.

Best to all,


Reply to  Eric Worrall
March 11, 2023 12:10 am

My pleasure, my friend, and thanks for all the interesting posts.


March 10, 2023 7:05 pm

There was a time when the CSIRO did good work; now, not so much. On the other hand, USQ will always be remote on-line college of little importance.

March 10, 2023 7:25 pm

There might be a problem for supplies from Brazil being affected by the recent SH meridional loops of cold weather. Ok I’ll go local to take the pressure off a bit, get some Niugini Gold. Thanks for the tip about Jaques at Mareeba – that’s just up the road 🙂

March 10, 2023 9:09 pm
Last edited 17 days ago by simonsays
March 10, 2023 9:21 pm

Because the reality is Coffee is a far more versatile crop than most people believe. My favourite coffee doesn’t grow in the highlands of Peru or East Africa or whatever, my favourite coffee comes from lowlands in tropical Australia – Jaques Coffee from the Atherton Tableland.”

Also, move the crop <or> 150 meters up the hill and you will be back to pre-industrial paradise temperatures.

March 10, 2023 9:43 pm

The real danger to coffee is the same as presented to all goods by the climate fraudsters — shortages deliberately created by reduction in trade via shipping restrictions and protectionist tariffs, and by inflation through international currency manipulation.

real bob boder
Reply to  dk_
March 11, 2023 6:36 am

And the green food, organic jackasses

March 10, 2023 9:58 pm

My guess is these rabble rousers don’t know squat about coffee.

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  Bob
March 10, 2023 10:44 pm

You might say their brains have been decaffeinated.

Philip CM
March 10, 2023 11:27 pm

That thing that is expanding exponentially is in danger of a sudden death by climate.
Be the fear coffee lovers. 🤣

Right-Handed Shark
March 11, 2023 12:08 am

Leaves me wondering how the Robusta variety got it’s name..

March 11, 2023 12:51 am

If you ever see a nasty post from me, it was almost certainly written before I had my first cup of coffee.

March 11, 2023 2:37 am

bit out of touch arent they?
last 2 seasons sth american crop lowers were caused by?
I saw the reports and started stocking up ahead of the always late media released by msm

real bob boder
Reply to  ozspeaksup
March 11, 2023 6:37 am

Yep, been in the industry for 40 years, never had a crop failure do to heat.

Reply to  real bob boder
March 11, 2023 1:33 pm

You seem to be forgetting that the warming earth produces more extreme cold weather.

March 11, 2023 4:55 am

“…has the potential”


“…could impact”

 “…could result”

… or tell the truth and say…. HAS NOT and is UNLIKELY TO.

Rud Istvan
March 11, 2023 5:54 am

This coffee alarm canard has been around for decades. I mocked a deade old version of it in essay ‘Last Cup of Coffee’ in ebook Blowing Smoke.

real bob boder
March 11, 2023 6:32 am

Funny, because the most recent climate related problem was an unexpected cold snap in Brazil.

Dave Andrews
March 11, 2023 6:55 am

I’m just off to write a paper claiming that in 20 years time chidren won’t know what coffee is. Thanks for the tip.

Last edited 17 days ago by Dave Andrews
March 11, 2023 7:28 am

Like all agricultural products, coffee beans are a product of selective breeding and adaptation to a variety of locations, and climates and “terroirs”, just like wine grapes, corn, wheat, gourds, cotton, etc. The notion that a multiple decades- or centuries-long process of changing climate would somehow decimate a particular crop belies the fact that nothing we consume today existed at some point in the past, possibly are recently as last year, or 5 thousand years ago, or at any point in between.

These numbskulls are ignoring that fact that all selective breeding is a matter of purposeful manipulation of plant and animal genes in such a way as to adapt them to available environmental conditions. Dry tolerant plants and animals are selectively bred to flourish in dry areas, while wet tolerant plants and animals are selectively bred to flourish in wet areas. Ditto with heat tolerant stuff vs. cold tolerant stuff. Ditto with length of growing season (winter wheat was developed in areas with short summer growing seasons to raise production), and physical characteristics (like long haired animals in cold climates, short haired animals in hot climates.

In other words, climate change is perpetual when dealing with agricultural product breeding and distribution.

Last edited 17 days ago by Duane
Reply to  Duane
March 11, 2023 1:35 pm

Cruel manipulation of mother nature by evil humans!

March 11, 2023 8:26 am
March 11, 2023 8:51 am

YouTube is also playing dirty to support the government line when it comes to all the major issues. Tony Heller is close to being banned, has been demonitized, and they are keeping his subscribers below 120,000

YouTube Math | Real Climate Science

March 12, 2023 12:27 am

I guess next they’ll be recycling the old claim that beer isn’t going to taste the same because of climate change.

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