(Yicai Global) Oct. 16 -- The price of a pint around the world is likely to increase throughout the 21st century as the effects of climate change limit the production of barley, the main ingredient in beer.
Extreme heat and severe droughts could harm crops and raise beer prices by as much as 83 percent in China and 43 percent in Ireland, state-backed The Paper reported yesterday, citing Xie Wei, a doctoral supervisor at Peking University. Xie and other scholars from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Tsinghua University and the University of East Anglia conducted the research and published their findings in scientific journal Nature Plants.
Researchers used computer models to predict the possible effects of extreme climates on barley yields and found that there will be a significant impact the consumption and price of beer, the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world in terms of volume drunk.
Average yield losses ranged from 3 percent to 17 percent, depending on the severity of the weather conditions simulated, Xie said. Decreases in global barley supplies would lead to proportionally larger declines in the amount of barley used to make beer, as the grain is also used in more important products, he added.
According to his report, consumption would fall by as much as 16 percent, or roughly the amount of beer drunk in the United States in 2011, and prices would double on average by the end of this century. Specific changes are dependent on economic and cultural scenarios in individual countries.
Editor: James Boynton