For those who fear global warming, and for those who don't alike, a little wake up call, or lack thereof, could put a crimp in their own and a few billion other people's lifestyle.
Enter the ubiquitous coffee cup. Does anyone think it would be missed if suddenly it disappeared? You bet your espresso!
Global warming is slowly showing its destructive force. From ocean acidification to plant stress, it is silently meting its first victims.
Botanists are sounding the alarm for the valuable coffee crops, which are now threatened by the change in global climates.
One of the places where the change is being felt is Costa Rica, where coffee is one of its foremost commercial and botanical treasures. Imagine the farmers' dismay when they realized that the plants were suffering from global warming induced stress.
Many farmers have left the business in fact. The reason why, is that the coffee plant needs specific conditions, and any fluctuation in rainfall or temperature can affect the yield enormously.
The truth is that the lush mountains where the coffee is grown in Costa Rica are getting warmer. That translates in less yield from the plants.
In a leaked draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC report, which will be released in 3/2014, is detailed how climate change will impact agriculture worldwide, among other things, especially for those species that are particularly sensitive to change. And those nations who most rely on crops will be the most affected.
Together with warming has been seen the rise of fungal species, which thrive in warmer weather. One of them is attacking Costa Rica's coffee plantations. The rust, or la Roya, is a fungus typical of the coffee plant, and it is spreading: that and the changing pattern of rainfall, which has also been disrupted by the changing climate patterns, are conjuring to make coffee growing perilous and unrewarding.
Coffee farming is fraught with all sorts of obstacles. The plants only last 40 years, after which an entire new crop must be planted and nurtured, in itself a risk filled task.
Although Costa Rica aims to be carbon neutral by 2012, unless the rest of the world follows its example, there will be little to stop the changing climate from affecting its economy.
Partial Source : LiveScience/ 12.3.13