Could Coffee Go Extinct? Climate Change Is Threatening Your Favorite Foods

Climate change is posing significant threats to various food and drink items, including chocolate, Champagne, and the French cheeses camembert and brie. According to a 2019 study in Science Advances, 60% of all wild coffee species could go extinct, with 60 making the cut for potential extinction, while 40 are endangered. The popular Arabica coffee species is considered endangered by the IUCN.

French cheeses, such as camembert and brie, are on the verge of extinction due to the loss of genetic diversity and ability to produce sexual spores. Cacao, used to make chocolate, can only be produced near the equator under certain conditions, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that by 2050, much of the cacao cultivation area in West Africa will be less suitable for growing the plant. Although cacao is not considered endangered by the IUCN yet, the effects of climate change could change this in the future.

Salmon species, such as sockeye salmon and chinook salmon, are also endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Wine is not considered endangered, but rather faces threats due to climate change. In 2020, TIME reported that the flavor of French wine has been changing due to climate change, and NPR reported earlier this year about the taste of Champagne changing due to the changing climate’s effects on grapes.

The coyo avocado, native to Central and South America, has been deemed endangered by the IUCN due to habitat loss. While it comes from the same genus as the avocado we see in supermarkets, it’s not quite the same fruit.

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