Chocolate Could Go Extinct by 2050 Due to Climate Change

Chocolate Could Go Extinct by 2050 Due to Climate Change

That rise in temperature is enough that it will force those chocolate-growing regions to push over 1,200 feet uphill into areas that, right now, are preserved for wildlife and do not allow cultivation.

But before you start hoarding Hershey Kisses for a future black-market scheme, know that scientists at University of California Berkeley are actively working to prevent worldwide sadness by teaming up with Mars (the makers of Snickers, M&Ms, Twix, etc.) to find a cure.

Rising temperatures from climate change threaten to shrink the slim strip of rainforests around the equator where the cacao trees used to make chocolate thrive, according to a 2016 review from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Stockpiles of cocoa are decreasing, our current methods of farming aren't equipped to maintain production, and changes in the environment will make it even harder for plants to grow.

African countries such as Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, which produce more than 50% of the world's chocolate, are testimony to this problem.

"We're trying to go all in here", Mars' chief sustainability officer Barry Parkin told Business Insider.

Chocolate Could Go Extinct by 2050 Due to Climate Change
Chocolate Could Go Extinct by 2050 Due to Climate Change

The exploration lab she regulates at UC Berkeley is known as the Innovative Genomics Institute.

Despite the increased demand, supply has not kept up and stockpiles of cocoa are said to be falling.

"These changes in climatic suitability are predicted to take place over a time period of nearly 40 years, so they will mostly impact the next rather than the current generation of cocoa trees and farmers", Peter Läderach and his co-authors said in a 2013 study.

The typical Western consumer eats an average of 286 chocolate bars a year - more if they are from Belgium, the research titled Destruction by Chocolate found.

Doug Hawkins, of Hardman Agribusiness, says part of the problem is most cocoa is produced by poor families who can not afford fertilisers and pesticides.

"More than 90 per cent of the global cocoa crop is produced by smallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material", Doug Hawkins, of Hardman Agribusiness - a London-based capital markets advisory services firm - was quoted as saying to the Sun.

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