For the love of coffee

This is a good video from Kew Gardens (h/t HotTopic) about the world’s second most traded commodity after oil: coffee. According to scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, climate change could make wild Arabica coffee extinct in less than 70 years. So if you don’t care about the people in Bangladesh, and you don’t care about your descendants, and you don’t care about the natural world, and you don’t care about the coral reefs, then give a thought for that tasty cup of coffee which might not be around for much longer under business as usual.

Two species are used to produce coffee: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica originated in Ethiopia and although it is now grown all over the world, it is grown in plantations with very little genetic diversity. This makes them susceptible to pests and disease. Whenever these plantations have problems, they rely on the genetic diversity available from wild Arabica in Ethiopia. As this video shows, wild Arabica is already showing signs of climate change-induced heat stress.