Category Archives: ClimateChange

How climate change will brew a bad-tasting, expensive cup of coffee

Rising heat, extreme weather and pests mean the highland bean is running out of cool mountainsides on which it flourishes by Damian Carrington in the Manchester Guardian Rich western urbanites expecting to dodge the impacts of climate change should prepare for a jolt: global warming is leading to bad, expensive coffee. Almost 2bn cups of coffee perk up its drinkers every day, but a perfect storm of rising heat, extreme weather and ferocious pests mean the highland bean is running out of cool mountainsides on which it flourishes…. Read More →

Slate author looks at climate change and coffee shortages

By Eric Holthaus in Slate If there was ever a reason to rise up in support of a benevolent climate-obsessed world dictator, this could be it. Climate change has already taken the Winter Olympics, your Eggos, and the McDonald’s dollar menu, and now it’s coming for your coffee, too. An epic drought—Brazil’s worst in decades—is threatening exports from the world’s largest coffee exporter and driving up wholesale prices worldwide. We’ve officially entered the realm of bloggers’ worst-case scenario (to read more).

Video: WCR partner Kew Gardens seeks solutions for climate change in coffee’s birthplace – Ethiopia

In this video, World Coffee Research Partner Kew Gardens takes a look at coffee’s genetic diversity today from a perspective inside the crop’s birthplace, Ethiopia. Kew Gardens discusses mitigating the effects of climate change by monitoring coffee growth inside the African country.

Climate responsible for devastating coffee rust disease outbreak in Central American countries

Many coffee farmers across Central America will not turn a profit in 2013 and some will even go out of business due largely to the near-epidemic levels of coffee rust disease occurring across the growing regions. “Poor harvests and low market prices this year will deal a lethal blow to many marginal coffee farmers,” said Dr. Tim Schilling, Executive Director of WCR, World Coffee Research, at the Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture at Texas A&M University. Total production of high-altitude, and thus high-quality, arabica coffee from Central America… Read More →

Coffee to go: Is this the end of our favourite drink? Read what WCR’s Executive Director has to say about Global Warming as a threat to coffee supplies, in this article published in New Scientist

COFFEE-LOVERS be warned. Whether you are a three-double-espressos-a-day addict or just indulge in the occasional cappuccino, enjoy it while you can: a coffee drought may be on its way. Changing climate threatens to reduce the flow of coffee that fills 1.6 billion cups a day to a trickle. It may not be long before that after-dinner espresso costs more than the wine and some caffeine addicts will be forced to go cold turkey. If that prospect fills you with dread, you are not alone. There are some 26… Read More →

In the Press: The Wall Street Journal Features #WCRGermplasm Expedition in South Sudan

The Wall Street Journal featured a story by Miguel Bustillo and Solomon Moore on the recent World Coffee Research Germplasm expedition to South Sudan. Read the following excerpt from the story and follow the link at the end to the read full article on the WSJ website. Read More →

In the Press: Wild Arabica species, The genetic key to a sustainable coffee industry

A World Coffee Research expedition to South Sudan turned into a rescue mission for wild Arabica, with evidence that climate change may see these forests disappear in our lifetime. A.S. Thomas’s 1942 entry into the Empire Journal of Experimental Agriculture is a reminder of times gone by. In an account of his exploration of the Boma Plateau, Sudan, to search for wild Arabica (Coffea arabica), Thomas refers to neighbouring “Abyssinia”, the historical name that included Ethiopia, as well as the then colonial “Anglo-Egyptian Sudan”. Read More →

Global Coffee Researchers Gather in London to Agree on Collaboration and Exchange of Genetic Material

Emma Bladyka Writes About South Sudan WCR Expedition

It was the tail end of the dry season in South Sudan. Our base camp, located in the small village of Jonglei, was dusty and despite being at 1100 meters elevation, was well above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I had just hiked up all 1100 of these meters, much of which were unshaded, with only the water I could carry. Small huts made of mud and straw sat in the shade of large, broad leaved trees. There was a loud thump next to me and when I looked down I discovered a blushing yellow-green mango. The village was full of mango trees (or maybe, the mango grove was full of village). Read More →

WCR Team Finds Wild Arabica Coffee in South Sudanese Forest

This past April, a team of experts representing World Coffee Research traveled to the Boma Plateau in South Sudan on a germplasm collection expedition through the forest. The plateau sits across a valley from Ethiopia, considered the origin of the Arabica coffee species. Traveling through the forest, the World Coffee Research team was on a mission to find and collect wild Arabica coffee. The last time a researcher had done a similar trip was back in the 1940s when botanist Dr. A.S. Thomas recorded his observations of a much different Boma forest than what the WCR team found— a forest that was yet unscathed by a changing global climate where healthy Arabica coffee trees grew wild. Read More →