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Global warming hurts beer?

Even if you are not personally concerned with climate change and global warming, some of the things you love may be.

We can add beer to chocolate, coffee and wine as some of life's little pleasures that global warming will make scarcer and costlier, scientists say.

Drought and increased heat will impact barley production and without barley there is no beer.

Experts predict barley production could drop by 17 per cent in the years to come which would also impact the price of beer.

The study, published in Monday's journal Nature Plants indicates in countries like Ireland, where cost of a brew is already high, prices could triple.

This latest news comes just a week after a dire United Nations report indicating climate change will have dangerous consequences which include threatening our food security, heat waves, rising sea levels rise, and disease.

Steve Davis of the University of California, Irvine, and one of the studies authors says the beer research was done, in part, to drive home an unpalatable message that climate change is and will continue to mess with  our daily lives.

"One of the greatest challenges as a scientist doing research on climate change and food is to illustrate it in a way that people can understand," U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist Lewis Ziska said in an email. Few people would complain if global warming ruined Brussels sprouts, he added.

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.

-with files from CTV



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