You're going to want to try another alcoholic drink because, in the near future, beer might not be an option. A new study indicates that rampant climate change will have catastrophic effects on our beer supply.
The study, conducted by a team of academic researchers and published in Nature Plants, shows that there's guaranteed to be a beer shortage due to troubling climate prediction models. Drought and extreme heat wrought by climate change will wreak havoc on barley crops because the plant is extremely sensitive to heat.
This new study is part of an extensive body of new research on the effects of climate change on agricultural goods and so-called "luxury essentials". Using projections, the study is trying to "assess future sudden changes in barley production and subsequent changes in beer consumption across the world in years when extreme drought and heat occur".
Other than water, beer is by and large the world's most popular beverage by volume consumed. In 2017, the world consumed 186.72 million kiloliters of beer - roughly 295 billion 633ml cans.
Canada is one of the top beer drinking and beer producing countries in the world and if the study's projections come to pass, Canadians will be faced with huge price increases. Those future price increases will be felt the hardest in Quebec.
It's estimated that overall beer prices in Canada will increase by at least $4.35 in the worst possible scenario. While the study doesn't focus on Quebec, we can make a few educated predictions.
In the worst-case scenario, as projected by the study, will raise the base price to $34.35 (let's call it $34.99). You're gonna end up paying a total of $40.23. That's a price difference of $4.60.
The study projects what they call "extreme events" (warming from 3°C to 8°C) will have destructive effects on beer production. Smaller countries will feel this effect the most. According to their model, the most affected country seems to be Ireland.
As they used a "single crop model", the study does admittedly have some limitations. Considering that prices and crop production were evaluated based on climate projections, things might not be so dire. Or, they might be even worse than projections.
Crucially, this doesn't mean that you should go out and drink all the beer before it disappears. The study used projections from 2010 all the way to the year 2099, so don't worry...yet.
I know I threw a lot of numbers at you before, but it's important to visualize how unchecked climate change will affect our wallets. Remember, even though you're not feeling it now, you will eventually.
Climate change is everywhere. It's the reason we've seen a record number of heatwaves this year. If governments don't get the acts together, it'll only get worse.
Buckle up, world. The climate is changing.