Coffee drinkers may be sipping on tea soon after a new study revealed that 60 percent of coffee species could be facing extinction because of climate change.
The new findings published in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday showed how some of the most popular commercial coffees, including Arabica and Robusta, could soon be gone because of increasing droughts and the spread of fungal pathogens because of rising global temperatures, USA Today reported.
“Despite the overwhelming agronomic and economic success of Arabica and Robusta, a myriad of new threats are now evident for the global coffee sector,” the article read. “These include climate change, especially the increasing incidence and duration of drought, the spread and escalating severity of devastating fungal pathogens, most notably CLR for Arabica in Central and northern South America, and coffee wilt disease for robusta in Africa, the emergence and/or spread of other diseases and pests, and social, economic, and market-based factors.”
Aaron Davis, head of coffee research at Kew, who co-led the work, told Reuters that immediate action is needed to preserve the species for the development of a more resistant breed.
"As temperatures increase and rainfall decreases - the suitable area for growing ... diminishes," he said.
The study found that 75 of coffee species are currently threatened with extinction, 13 of which were listed as “critically endangered.”