The Worst Effect of Global Warming So Far...


Photo credit: dyobmit

...is coming fast, and it's going to affect a huge portion of the world's population: Beer drinkers. A perfect storm is brewing, coming together with the potential to create a shortage in the world's beer supply. In addition to an ongoing hops shortage, which we first reported last year, failed barley crops are causing further concern in the beer brewing industry, and we can chalk it up to the effects of global warming.

According to Jim Salinger, a climate scientist at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, the warming globe will likely cause a decline in the production of malting barley, which, when combined with the scarcity of hops right now, stands to have a profound and negative impact on the world's beer supply starting now, and for decades to come."It will mean either there will be pubs without beer or the cost of beer will go up," Salinger told the Institute of Brewing and Distilling convention. Though Salinger spoke only of the direct effects on Australia and New Zealand, similar effects could be expected worldwide. He said climate change could cause a drop in beer production within 30 years, especially in parts of Australia, as dry areas become drier and water shortages worsen.

"It will provide a lot of challenges for the brewing industry," even forcing breweries to look at new varieties of malt barley as a direct result of climate change, Salinger said.

Yikes. Beer drinkers are already paying for it, in places like Portland, Oregon, and beer brewers like the Boston Beer Company are changing their brewing practices and even selling off some of their hops to other small breweries.

Though there's been at least one case of global warming helping beer production in a small (and kind of silly) way, the warming globe is also negatively affecting whiskey production and could yield explosive results elsewhere; in short, as Salinger said, “It’s already happening and will get worse." So savor your next pint and read more at ::Beverage World and the ::Daily Star
More on global warming effects and beer
DANGER: Effects of Global Warming Include Death
German Biofuels Incentives Drive Up the Price of Beer
Microbreweries Hopping Mad Over Biofuels
Global Warming Beer: Greenland Brews with Melting Ice Cap
Global Warming's Effects on Plants and Animals

Tags: Australia | Beer | Biofuels | New Zealand