Higher temperatures and irregular weather patterns could hinder basic food staples. By 2050, we won't necessarily see an end to the agricultural world as we know it but some foods may be more difficult to find. Higher costs, lower supplies and difficult harvesting could occur due to climate change and global warming. A classic morning pick me up like the Arabica coffee bean may cease to be.
The bean comes from a very temperamental plant that grows in developing nations near the equator. This particular type of bean is susceptible to "coffee rust," a fungus that inhibits the plant from producing an abundance of high quality beans.
The main cause? Climate change. By 2050, Nicaragua, which currently produces about 17 percent of the world’s coffee supply, "will hardly be a producer anymore," Tim Schilling, executive director of the World Coffee Research Center, said.
Schilling adds that instead of getting beans from Central America, we will be sourcing from Texas or the south of France. One major coffee chain, Starbucks, is heading off the global warming crisis by purchasing a Costa Rican coffee farm and plans to create a hybridized tree capable of surviving droughts and plant plagues.
The lunchtime staple peanut butter has seen price increases thanks to droughts on peanut farms. Peanuts, which require a considerable amount of rainfall to grow, can become too dry without enough rain, and end up growing toxic mold when they get too much. A 2009 U.S. Global Change Research Program report showed that rainfall in the regions where peanuts are produced is expected to decrease in the coming decades, so enjoy this tasty treat while you can.
Water may not top your list of favorite foods but it is certainly something we cannot live without. About one-third of U.S. counties "will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as a result of global warming," according to the National Resources Defense Council. It’s no news that droughts are happening everywhere.
Scientists are still learning how these droughts interact with the Earth’s warming trend, but there is one probable line of reasoning: a decrease in snowfall and snow melting earlier than usual, due to warm temperatures, significantly impacts regions that rely on melting snow as a freshwater supply, leading to a shortage.
35 years may seem like we have plenty of time but that is just an estimate. No one can predict the future, so savor your morning coffee, stock up on jars of peanut butter, and hope for plenty of rain.