Researchers predict that the beloved cocoa bean could “disappear” as the plant is expected to perish due to global warming.
As cacao trees only grow in very specific geographical zones (about 20° north and south of the equator), even a minor change to the Earth’s temperature could be catastrophic for their survival.
Just a 2.1° increase in the world climate will be enough to cause serious harm to many plants, making production for products like chocolate nearly impossible.
The Daily Mail explains:
“As the mercury rises and squeezes more water out of soil and plants, scientists believe it is unlikely that rainfall will increase enough to offset the moisture loss.
“That means cacao production areas are set to be pushed thousands of feet uphill into mountainous terrain which is carefully preserved for wildlife by 2050.”
The potential extinction of the plant will also greatly harm the economy of countries such as Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
Government officials will have to face a tough decision on whether to continue to supply the world’s demand for chocolate or conserve the destruction of their ecosystem.
As chocolate continues to skyrocket in popularity, experts have been warning for years that it’s going to become increasingly more difficult to meet consumer demands.
The average Westerner consumes an estimated 286 chocolate bars per year, a number that’s even higher if you’re from Belgium.
London researcher for the firm Hardman Agribusiness, Doug Hawkins, explains the difficulty of keeping up the stockpiles of chocolate:
“Unlike other tree crops that have benefited from the development of modern, high yielding cultivars and crop management techniques to realise their genetic potential, more than 90 per cent of the global cocoa crop is produced by smallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material.
“All the indicators are that we could be looking at a chocolate deficit of 100,000 tonnes a year in the next few years.”
While it’s possible that the cocoa plant may one day be extinct, some believe that the bean may still be around—but it will be unaffordable for the average person.
Spoon University explains:
“So, although we may still be able to find chocolate in the store, it may eventually become un-affordable for many of us.
“In fact, the Ghana-based Nature Conservation Research Center believes ‘that chocolate may become as rae and expensive as caviar within 20 years.’”
This news, however, appears to contradict recent global warming/climate change predictions.
As we reported in December, climatologists are now claiming that we could experience a “mini ice age” by 2030.