"Our study showed that even modest warming will lead to increases in drought and excessive heat events in barley-growing areas". Poland, meanwhile, would face the biggest mark-ups on pints in the worst climate change circumstances, with prices increasing by 500%. In Ireland, a small country with a relatively high per capita beer consumption, prices could go up by as much as 338 percent per bottle. "Of course, global warming is a lot more serious consequences, and raising the price of beer is nothing compared with them".
"The aim of the study is not to encourage people to drink more today", Dabo Guan, a co-author of the study and a professor of climate change economics at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, said to CNN. At least that's what a recent study published in Nature Plants says. "A sufficient beer supply may help with the stability of entertainment and communication in society", Guan said.
Ultimately, our modelling suggests that during the most severe climate events, the price of beer would double and global consumption would decline by 16%, or 29 billion litres.
The report's authors stress that the effect of climate change on alcohol pales in comparison to the life-threatening impact in parts of the world more concerned with storms, drought, and food and water supplies. Guan is a professor of climate change economics at UEA's School of International Development.
The research claims that around a sixth of the world's barley supply is now used in beer production, with the rest used to feed livestock.
We hope our results might attract further attention from various beer-lovers who actually have the power to do something about global warming.
'Depending on the severity of the weather, the average production loss should be between 3% and 17%,' the researchers predict, meaning a decline in production and a decline in consumption.
Beginning with a model developed by climate scientists, they forecast temperature, rainfall, precipitation, soil moisture and other variables in both worst-case and less-severe scenarios. But perhaps understanding the threats to the beloved beverage will make some people more inclined to care about the impact of climate change on the world's crops.
At present, China is the largest beer-consuming market in the world. "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".
To avert a beer-brewing disaster, researchers are encouraging policymakers to act now on climate change and throw their support behind policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.