Friday, 16 November, 2018

Beer prices to spike as climate hots up, scientists warn

Climate change could cause beer prices to soar - study Beer shortage looming?
Doris Mccormick | 16 October, 2018, 23:29

Prof Dabo Guan, who is a member of the research team at the University of East Anglia, said the projections of the study should serve as a call to action on climate change.

The study's researchers said that similar to prohibition-era laws, a global beer shortage will have the biggest impact on the working class.

Barley, the main ingredient in beer, is extremely sensitive to temperature and drought, and because humans have really fucked up the planet, it means the temperature is increasing which will lead to substantial decreases in barley crops.

"Current levels of fossil fuel consumption and Carbon dioxide pollution - business as usual - will result in this worst-case scenario, with more weather extremes negatively impacting the world's beer basket", said co-author Nathan Mueller, an assistant professor of Earth system science at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Severe climate events could cause shortages in the global beer supply, which was likely to result in "dramatic" falls in consumption and rise in prices of the most popular alcoholic drink in the world, a study said.

Only the highest quality grain - less than 20 percent - is used to make beer, with most of the rest used as feedstock.

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Beer is the most commonly imbibed alcoholic beverage in the world, and reductions in brewing would inevitably affect prices. He also suggested that beer price hikes and shortages could affect social stability, comparing the situation to the Prohibition era in the United States, which saw the rise of organized crime based on the supply of illicit liquor. "Nevertheless, there is little doubt that for millions of people around the world, the climate impacts on beer availability and price will add insult to injury".

Richard Ellis, professor from University of Reading in England, said that the study, which he was not involved in, could actually be lowballing the price increases for beer if nothing is done to curb climate change, according to The Guardian.

A pint could double in price in the United Kingdom as a result of "severe weather events" that could result in a shortage of barley used to brew beer.

Whether the best- or worst-case scenario plays out, beer drinkers in Ireland, Canada, Poland and Italy will likely see prices increase the most, the study says. Global warming could result in extreme weather, such as floods and droughts, which could jeopardise the lives of millions. Volume declined 0.4 percent, while dollar sales rose 1.2 percent, led by imports, craft beer and domestic super premiums.

In China - whose 1.3 billion people collectively down more brew than any other nation - consumption would fall by a staggering 4.3 billion litres in a bad year.

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