Crisis That'll have Us Crying into What's Left of our Beer

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Of course, the availability of beer is "not the most concerning impact of future climate change", as the study authors duly note.

If you crave a pint (or two) at the end of a hard day, brace yourself: climate change is poised to make your favourite lager, ale or IPA more scarce and pricey.

Beer drinkers might pay more for and find less of their favorite beverage as climate change comes for barley.

The research paper has attracted wide attention, as it gives people a very concrete reference point from which to view the concept of climate change. In some small countries, such as Ireland, Estonia and the Czech Republic, the price will really spike under climate change, with a predicted drop in per capita consumption of 75% in Ireland alone, he said.

When the weather gets hot, a cold beer seems to be the ideal thirst quencher - but a hot planet means the price of that brew could skyrocket, according to researchers. The study found that in less extreme weather events, crop yields could still fall by three percent.

People's diet security is equally important to food security in many aspects of society.

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Beer prices could double worldwide and the US could see 20% decline in beer consumption-that's about 10 billion cans of beer. The researchers then used economic models to interpret the real-term financial impact that shortages could have on the beer industry.

The study explains that the alcoholic beverage is the most popular in the world is going to be scarce and become more expensive because of "a decrease in world production of barley would generate an even higher decrease of the barley production is devoted to the beer". Similar methods have been used for many studies on staple foods such as wheat and rice, as well as wine - but not previously for beer.

It is possible that more drought- or heat-tolerant barley cultivars may be developed in future, which would reduce the risk of climate change to supplies of beer. For example, prices of beer can jump by a gigantic 193% in Ireland in the times to come. "Under the worst scenario", he said, China would lose 10 percent of its beer supply and the United States 15 to 20 percent.That won't happen if Anheuser-Busch has anything to say about it, however.

The loss of supply could lead to a major increase in prices. Decreases in global supply lead to proportionally larger decreases in barley used to make beer.

"It may be argued that consuming less beer isn't itself disastrous, and may even have health benefits", Guan said in a statement from the University of East Anglia, where he works.

During the most severe climate events, the results indicate that global beer consumption would decline by 16%, or 29 billion litres - roughly equal to the total annual beer consumption in the US.

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