World's beer supply threatened by severe climate change (Photo: File Photo)
Beer supply worldwide might suffer shortages owing to severe climate changes across the world that may affect its consumption and price, experts say. Climate change in different places across the globe such as widespread drought and heat may lead to fall in the consumption of the drink and rise in its prices, according to a new study published in Nature Plants.
The study warns that widespread severe drought and heat may cause substantial fall in the global production of barley which is used to make beer, the most popular alcoholic drink in the world.
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According to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, during the most severe climate events, the results indicate that global beer consumption would decline by 16 per cent, or 29 billion litres—roughly equal to the total annual beer consumption in the US—and that beer prices would on average double.
Even in less severe extreme events, beer consumption drops by four per cent and prices rise by 15 per cent, researchers said. The findings suggest that total beer consumption decreases most under climate change in the countries that consumed the most beer by volume in recent years.
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For example, the volume consumed in China—today the largest consuming country—falls by more than any other country as the severity of extreme events increases, and by 4.34 billion litres in the most severe, researchers said.
(With inputs from agencies)