Scientists have long known that barley "is one of the most heat-sensitive crops globally", but this study connects that to something that people care about - the price of beer - so it's valuable, said David Lobell, a Stanford University agriculture ecologist.
The study - by scientists based in China, the U.S. and United Kingdom and published in the journal Nature Plants - forecasts that depending on the extent to which conditions change, yields of barley may fall by between 3% and 17%. Due to global warming, barley production will decline, leading to a decrease in consumption and an increase in the price of the world's most popular drink.
Instances of severe climate change could reduce the global beer consumption by 29 billion liters.
The impact on beer prices could be gut-wrenching, the scientists have warned - and it'll be even worse in Ireland, with the price of a six pack shooting up £15.
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So if other effects of climate change like rising temperatures and more severe storms aren't enough to get everyone's attention, maybe this will. As barley is predominantly utilized to manufacture beer, the lesser yield of the crop across various geographies would make it harder for the breweries to produce the beverage.
Here in the US, two thirds of the barley crop is used to make beer.
China is expected to suffer the most severe shortages in this century, followed by the United States, Germany, and Russian Federation, the report said.
Reuters reported that many companies realise the risks of climate change on barley, 17 percent of which is used to make beer. "A sufficient beer supply may help with the stability of entertainment and communication in society", according to Guan.
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These extreme weather events are expected to occur as often as every two or three years in the second half of the century if we stay on the current climate trajectory, the report said.
China, the largest consumer of beer worldwide, may also see a fall of around 10%, which accounts for around 12 billion beer cans.
Following a report from the United Nations last week, additional research revealed that there are climate-related potential problems looming for several key brewing nations, including Belgium, the Czech Republic and Ireland, the journal Nature Plants reported.
"There is little doubt that, for millions of people, around the world, the climate impacts of beer will add insult to injury".
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