Global warming is killing the world’s chocolate supply, agricultural researchers find. Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana together provide 53 percent of the world’s chocolate, but warming temperatures and changing precipitation mean rapid declines in growing conditions over the coming decades. The new report from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture paints a dire picture for the future of the cacao tree in West Africa:
Half of the world’s cocoa comes from the West African nations of Ivory Coast and Ghana. An expected temperature rise of more than two degrees Celsius by 2050 will render many of the region’s cocoa-producing areas too hot for the plants that bear the fruit from which chocolate is made, says a new study from the Colombia-based International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
“What we are saying is that if we don’t take any action, there won’t be sufficient chocolate around in the future,” said Peter Läderach, the report’s lead author.
“Already we’re seeing the effects of rising temperatures on cocoa crops currently produced in marginal areas, and with climate change these areas are certain to spread,” says Dr. Peter Laderach.