Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Prost, ganbei, cheers: Climate change means less beer

Prost, ganbei, cheers: Climate change means less beer

The world's beer drinkers will be drowning their sorrows after a study found that the price of a pint could double because of climate change.

A new study published on Monday in the journal Nature Plants says that global warming will cause a decrease in barley crops, leading to a shortage of beer and causing a price hike.

He pointed to a fall in barley yields in the United Kingdom this spring as proof of climate change's effect on the crop.

'But there is definitely a cross-cultural appeal to beer, and not having a cool pint at the end of an increasingly common hot day just adds insult to injury'.

A new study suggests climate change will cause a global beer shortage.

Global temperatures are expected to increase the price of beer because barley - the main ingredient in the alcoholic beverage - is easily affected by heat and droughts, as noted by CNN.

Beer is one of the most popular drinks in the world, falling only behind iced tea and water.

Forty-three percent of Americans said beer was their favorite type of alochol in 2016, according to Gallup, with 32 percent saying the same about wine and another 20 percent sticking by hard liquor.

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In recent years, the beer sector consumed around 17% of global barley production, but the share varied drastically across major beer-producing countries - from 83% in Brazil to 9% in Australia.

Beer prices in the wake of these disruptive weather events would, on average, double.

"Our results show that in the most severe climate events, the supply of beer could decline by about 16 per cent in years when droughts and heat waves strike", said co-author Steven Davis, also an associate professor of Earth system science at the UCI.

The impact on beer prices could be gut-wrenching, the scientists have warned - and it'll be even worse in Ireland, with the price of a six pack shooting up £15. "This is the key message", said professor Dabo Guan of the University of East Anglia, another researcher on the team.

Beer prices were predicted to rise most in wealthy beer-loving countries such as Belgium, Canada, Denmark and Poland.

In the United Kingdom, beer consumption could fall between 0.37 billion and 1.33 billion litres, while the price could as much as double. China could also see a drop in consumption and Davis "joked" the US could see a decline in areas such as keg stands and beer pong tournaments, as six packs could rise the equivalent of an extra $20 in Ireland and other countries.

Decreasing yields would leave less barley for beer production, as its use as food and cattle feed takes precedence. "That's comparable to all beer consumption in the U.S. Future climate and pricing conditions could put beer out of reach for hundreds of millions of people around the world".

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