The theme this year for Blog Action Day is climate change, and it is an extremely relevant topic for coffee. More people rely on agriculture for a living than any other occupation, with millions of them being small coffee growers. As an agricultural crop, coffee is, of course, profoundly affected by weather and climate.
Examining crop and climate models, experts at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) have a prediction about the future of coffee in several Latin American countries: “without adaptation, the prospects are bleak.” They go on to note adaptation must being now and,
“…planting shade trees today can buffer the impacts of climate change and buy a farmer a couple of extra decades to diversify production.”
I’ve written a number of posts on various aspects of climate change and coffee. I’ll provide a list here, as well as a list of other links and resources.
- Coffee growing and climate change. A brief overview.
- Coffee, climate change, and Rainforest Alliance. How Rainforest Alliance is evaluating criteria to choose which improve carbon storage and mitigate climate change as an add-on to their certification.
- Shade coffee buffers against climate change. Research revealing that shade cover helps to moderate changes in microclimates on coffee farms. with the potential to mitigate climate change impacts.
- Climate change and coffee pests. This posts discusses recent research on the coffee berry borer, and potential changes (increases) in this small beetle, one of the world’s worst coffee pests. Authors note that shade trees can help mitigate temperature increases and perhaps reduce the impact of this pest.
- Coffee farms and carbon sequestration. How coffee farms can serve to mitigate climate change via carbon sequestration. Includes a number of estimates on how much carbon can be stored on coffee farms, and a list of additional reading.
- Carbon credits with coffee: a how-to guide. Describes a document that outlines methods for verifying carbon stored on coffee farms and a mechanism for producers to receive payments for carbon credits.
Online articles and resources:
- Climate change brews up trouble for coffee growers. Overview piece at SciDevNet.
- The impact of climate change on coffee. A very nice overview of how climate effects coffee development, flowering, and yield, with a focus on India.
- Climate change causing havoc to coffee and tea farmers. Guardian UK.
- Brazil works on creating weather-resistant coffee bushes and Climate change threatens Brazil’s top coffee crop. As the world’s largest coffee grower, Brazil is mapping the coffee genome in order to develop pest- and heat-resistant varieties.
- Trouble brewing for Colombian coffee. New Agriculturalist.
Peer-reviewed papers and technical reports:
- “Predicted impact of climate change on coffee-supply chains.” International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). (PDF). Includes dramatic maps of shrinking land appropriate for coffee farming based on various climate scenarios.
- Potential impacts of climate change on agriculture: case study of
coffee production in Veracruz, Mexico. 2006. Gay, C. et al. 2006.
Climate Change 79:259-288.
- “Guidance on coffee carbon project development using the simplified agroforestry methodology.” Rainforest Alliance, July 2009 (PDF).
- Towards a climate change adaptation strategy for coffee communities and ecosystems in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, Mexico. Schroth,G., et al. 2009. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 14:605-625. (Abstract)