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Climate Change Is Intensifying Destructive Impact Of Coffee Rust

August 20, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists worry that climate change could be intensifying and accelerating the cycle of wet years and drought in coffee-growing countries that spurs the spread of coffee rust. Especially affected is Brazil’s Arabica coffee tree, responsible for 70 percent of the two billion cups consumed globally every day. Coffee growers have battled coffee rust – a devastating  fungus that has caused $1 billion in economic damage in Latin America since 2012 – for centuries. But climate change is making it worse, and could drive the price of coffee up, and push growers to switch to the climate resistant, but bitter, Robusta coffee bean. “If things continue like this, maybe 50 years from now, we’ll all be tea drinkers,” one industry observer says.
Jessica Leber, "The Future Of Coffee Looks Bitter And Pricey, Courtesy Of Climate Change", Fast Company, August 20, 2014, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC.
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