National Geographic : 2015 Sep
19% 33% 52 234,400 GUATEMALA HONDURAS EL SALVADOR NICARAGUA COSTA RICA -7% -63% -20% -3% -39% Elevation 3,300 feet Cooler Warmer Fungus MAR JUN SEP DEC 50 60 70 85oF Average lows Average highs Average yearly highs/lows 2012 1980-2010 COFFEE RUST IN CENTRAL AMERICA THE GLOBAL COFFEE ECONOMY 57% ARABICA Typically better quality 43% ROBUSTA More disease resistant -50% BRAZIL SOUTHEAST ASIA CENTRAL AMERICA Arabica Robusta VIETNAM BRAZIL TROPIC OF CANCER TROPIC OF CAPRICORN 72% may be lost 62% 48% 60% 46% 59% Planet Earth: By the Numbers EXPLORE A Climate for Coffee By 2050 climate change could halve the land that’s suitable for growing coffee—one of the world’s most valuable traded commodities, with some 100 million people economically dependent on the industry. As cli- mate zones shift, new areas may have the right growing conditions, but the land may be forested or otherwise unavailable. Rising temperatures also make plants more susceptible to disease. Developing resistant plant varieties could limit crop losses, says David Laughlin of World Coffee Research. But be- cause the plant hasn’t been well researched, a solution could take time to brew. —Kelsey Nowakowski MILLION POUNDS OF COFFEE ARE CONSUMED EACH DAY. PRODUCTION BY VARIETY RUST CAN GROW AT HIGHER ALTITUDES. AS TEMPERATURE RANGES NARROW ON GUATEMALAN COFFEE FARMS... COFFEE GROWERS THE DAMAGE Coffee is exported by more than 50 countries. This fungal disease has long attacked coffee plants at lower altitudes. Now shifting temperatures are letting it climb to higher altitudes, where premium coffee grows. The fungus invades through the stomata, natural openings on the underside of a leaf. It then attacks the leaves, causing chlorosis, also known as yellowing. Infected leaves develop pustules, which release spores that can infect other leaves or plants. Damaged leaves drop pre- maturely, reducing the plant’s photosynthesis and yield. Brazil and Vietnam account for more than half the world’s production.