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Barley, the main ingredient in beer, is extremely sensitive to temperature and drought, and because humans have really fucked up the planet, it means the temperature is increasing which will lead to substantial decreases in barley crops. Increased price for a beer pint in a shop or pub could result in the alcoholic beverage becoming a luxurious good and unaffordable for the people belonging to the working class.

While many countries keep emergency reserves of staple crops such as corn, rice and wheat to stave off price spikes and shortages, most do not do so for barley, making it vulnerable to climate.

We can add beer to chocolate, coffee and wine as some of life's little pleasures that global warming will make scarcer and costlier, scientists say.

Dabo Guan, one of the climate experts who conducted the research, noted that while the effect of climate change on beer supply is of less importance than other life-threatening impacts, beer is fundamental in sectors that promote cross-cultural social interaction.

Andreas Prein, a "climate and weather extremes" researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research who wasn't involved with the study, isn't surprised by its results. "A sufficient beer supply may help with the stability of entertainment and communication in society".

Under a worst-case scenario, prices would double on average and global consumption would fall by 16%, the report finds.

Beer is one of the most popular drinks in the world, falling only behind iced tea and water.

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It is possible that more drought- or heat-tolerant barley cultivars may be developed in future, which would reduce the risk of climate change to supplies of beer. The volume consumed in China - the world's largest beer consuming country - plummets by more than any other country as the severity of extreme events increases.

Only 17% of the barley produced in the world is used in brewing, the authors point out.

However, Poland's pocket could be hit the hardest, with a worst case scenario prediction of a fivefold price increase.

Meanwhile, Guan is concerned with the price of beer. A recent study estimates that losses of barley yield could be as high as seventeen percent in the near future, causing the price of beer to rise as a result.

From 2010 to the end of the century, they found, there will be 17 such events if humanity manages to cap global warming under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and 139 if current rates of carbon pollution persist. "That makes sense. This is a luxury commodity and it's more important to have food on the table".

Overall, Sluyter said Guan and his team's research contributed to the larger picture where climate change proved to be a significant threat against the world's food supply.


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