By JR on Sunday, October 05, 2014
Climate change could shrink chocolate production(?)
The article below is pure speculation and prophecy and it also omits something important. Rising levels of CO2 are not affecting temperatures but they ARE affecting plant growth. CO2 is plant food so higher levels of it make all things green more vigorous, including the trees from which cocoa beans are obtained. So it is no surprise that "Ivory Coast just posted a record harvest and the government increased its minimum price to farmers". So rising CO2 is doing no harm but it is doing some good -- probably including INCREASED availability of chocolate
Scientists say climate change will eventually claim many victims -– including, according to a new report, chocolate.
As temperatures increase and weather trends change, the main growing regions for cocoa could shrink drastically, according to new research from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.
Ghana and the Ivory Coast –- which produce more than half of the global cocoa supply –- could take a major hit by 2050.
Currently, the optimal locations to grow the crop are about 330 feet to 820 feet above sea level, with temperatures of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit to 77 degrees. That range will soar to 1,500 feet to 1,640 feet in four decades to compensate for hotter weather.
Cocoa production, which reached about $9 billion from 2008 to 2009 and accounts for 7.5% of the Ivory Coast’s gross domestic product and 3.4% of Ghana’s, could be in for a heavy slide.
Peter Gleick, a MacArthur fellow and chief executive of the Pacific Institute, bemoaned the potential decline of the sweet treat last week in an open letter to climate change skeptics in Forbes.
Many farmers will need to find alternative crops such as cashews and cotton. But researchers pointed out that as temperatures phase out some fields, others could become prime growing spots.
“Climate change brings not only bad news but also a lot of potential opportunities,” according to the report. “The winners will be those who are prepared for change and know how to adapt.”