Climate change is shrinking the yields of barley, the top grain used to make beer.
The most iconic beverage is in trouble, as climate change is hurting the production o barley, the top grain used to make beer.
A study published in the journal Nature Plants showed that if temperatures rise at current rates, both heat waves and droughts will continue to occur as often as every two or three years in the second half of the century, meaning less barley, following to beer shortages and price spikes
During extreme events, barley is expected to drop between 3% and 17%, depending on the conditions, but with these harsh conditions continuing to happen, harvests are set to suffer even more.
According to the information given by the index, under the hottest scenario, China is set to suffer the most shortages this century, followed by the United States, Germany, and Russia.
Prices could spike most in Italy, Canada, Ireland and Poland. In Ireland, during extreme climate events, prices for a 500 milliliter bottle, slightly more than a pint, will rise from about $2.50 to $5.00.
The threats to a beverage people have enjoyed for thousands of years is an indicator that even consumers in developed countries cannot escape the effects of a changing planet.
The overall trend is clear: At a global level, barley yields will at best — under the optimistic scenario — decrease by 3%. And in the worst-case scenario, yields will fall 17%.