Global warming to leave us crying in our costlier beer

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As the vulnerability of beer supply to the severity and frequency of heat extremes and drought has never been assessed, the research team deployed a global economic model (Global Trade Analysis Project model) and a process-based crop model (decision support system for agrotechnology transfer) to evaluate the future decline in barley yields globally.

There is bad news for all beer drinkers across the world as climate change could set skyrocket price as well as dramatic global supply shortage in the coming future, as per a new study.

A new study says global warming may leave people crying in their costlier beer.

The report concludes by saying there is "something fundamental in the cross-cultural appreciation of beer", which for "many millennia... has been an important component of social gatherings and human celebration" - even though it is relatively unimportant compared to other life-threatening impacts of climate change.

"We were drinking beer", Dabo Guan, a professor of climate change economics at the U.K.'s University of East Anglia who co-author of the study, told CNN.

"Our results show that in the most severe climate events, the supply of beer could decline by about 16 percent in years when droughts and heat waves strike", he said.

Even in less severe extreme events, beer consumption drops by 4% and prices rise by 15%.

We first became curious about barley, and the beer it produces, as this relatively minor crop was clearly affected by climate extremes yet had never caught the attention of climate scientists. Decreases in the global supply of barley lead to proportionally larger decreases in barley used to make beer. Some northern areas of the US and Asia could see barely increases, but Guan says these will be minimal compared to losses.

Researchers used computer models to estimate the impact of various climate change scenarios on barley yields in 34 world regions.

Beer is about to suffer a shortage due to the climate changes. But they said it would affect the quality of life of many people.

A relatively small amount-17 percent-of the world's total barley production is used for beer; most of it goes into feeding livestock. According to the study, that is equal to about the amount of beer consumed in the United States every year.

However, some individual countries may see much greater price hikes than these averages, since the study factored in how much demand will be able to withstand the price pressure.

"If you want to have the choice for not only beer but chocolate, coffee, tea, cigars - all of those crops are very much vulnerable to climate change". The impact on beer prices would vary accordingly.

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