For many, climate change is worrying, but well, life goes on ... for now, things are not so serious, apparently. But many friends of the ethyl, who are counted by millions, may be put on guard if they received the news that beer would be scarce due to climate change.
It is at least what a new study published in Nature Plants, researchers from the University of California-Irvine (UCI).
Droughts and heat waves
According to the study, droughts and concurrent heat waves, exacerbated by anthropogenic global warming, will lead to sharp drops in barley yields, the main ingredient of beer. To drink beer, then, you would have to pay for it. It would not be as affordable as now.
In the worst case, it was projected that parts of the world where barley is grown, including large northern plains, Canadian grasslands, Europe, Australia and the Asian steppe would suffer a decline in crop yields from 3 to 17 percent.
As explained by the study co-author Steven Davis, associate professor of Earth System Sciences at the UCI:
The world faces many impacts of climate change that endanger life, so the fact that people have to spend a little more to drink beer may seem trivial in comparison. But there is definitely an intercultural appeal to beer, and the fact of not having a fresh pint at the end of an increasingly common hot day simply adds a grievance to the injury.
Only the 17 percent of balloon barley is used in brewing; in fact, most are harvested as food for livestock. That is, should barley be used to feed cattle or to create beer? The answer will surely be preferred to feed the cattle.
If this forecast comes true, it is conjectured that beer consumption will fall in the poorest countries, such as China, and will continue to be consumed in rich nations despite the price premium: Irish residents may need to bring the equivalent of An additional $ 20 to the store to buy a six-can package.
Our results show that, in the most severe weather events, the beer supply could decrease by about 16 percent in the years when droughts and heat waves occur. That is comparable to all beer consumption in the United States. Future weather and pricing conditions could put beer out of reach of hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
Since ancient times, beer has been a staple of the diet, often called "liquid bread." In ancient Egypt, workers received beer as part of their salary, as did the bridesmaids of Queen Elizabeth I of England. In 1492, it was the official ration of the sailors of the army of Henry VII. In addition, there is no evidence that beer intake generates the popular “beer belly”, despite the widespread myth that beer consumption causes abdominal distension.