Climate Change to Hit Coffee

Science Fields

We better take care to prevent our children from becoming coffee addicts. For a study shows that coffee producing areas in the world will be halved by 2050.

In the study published online in Climatic Change, researchers from Berlin’s Humboldt University and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture determined the cultivation areas of the Arabica (Coffea arabica) and Robusta (Coffea canephora) species, and using models for climate dynamics, calculated how the climatic projections for these regions in 2050 would affect coffee production.

Barring meaningful reductions in CO2 emissions until then, areas with suitable climates for coffee production will shrink by 50 percent, the study forecasts. Heaviest sufferers will be such major coffee producing countries like Brazil and Vietnam.

Researchers allow for substitution of less-heat-sensitive Robusta for Arabica in coffee production areas near the Equator. But since Robusta, in turn, is less tolerant of temperature fluctuations, the total production loss is predicted to be heavier for this species.

Although coffee production areas may move to higher altitudes and latitudes, subject to the developments in the coffee economy, researchers warn that this may contribute to the climate change as it would mean further shrinkage of forests which absorb the greenhouse gas CO2 from the air. 


  • 1. “Climate change could slash coffeee production”, Science Online, 17 December 2014
  • 2. “A bitter cup: climate change profile of global production of Arabica and Robusta coffee”, Climatic Change, 13 December 2014