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    Coffee And Why Good Morning America Is Not A Science Program
    By Hank Campbell | December 5th 2012 05:00 AM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

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    Good Morning America is doing its part for scare journalism, this time telling us that if one computer prediction about global warming is correct, there won't be any wild coffee beans left.

    Relax, GMA, your guy already won the election, you don't need to drum up hysteria any more.  With four more years in office, he can go back to ignoring climate change, just like every other politician and focus on important stuff in the upcoming holiday season, like taxing Christmas tree farmers so the government can promote Christmas trees.

    GMA is concerned about a paper about a projection in the pay-to-publish journal PLoS One. If you are not aware, coffee is a big industry, generating $15.4 billion and employing up to 26 million people in dozens of countries.  Coffee arabica (Arabica coffee, about 70% of the market) and Coffee canephora (Robusta) are the most commonly grown of the 125 species. Plantation coffee lines, as you might guess, have been chosen by farmers for a variety of delightful reasons but because coffee grows best under certain conditions and growers want the best product produced with the most efficiency, coffee is not all that diverse.

    Presto, we get a numerical model saying if conditions change for growing and those lines are not as good, well, evolution won't happen, nor will growers use new lines optimized for current conditions, we will all just go without coffee.

    And then Good Morning America has some science to talk about.



    Citation: Davis AP, Gole TW, Baena S, Moat J (2012) The Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous Arabica Coffee (Coffea arabica): Predicting Future Trends and Identifying Priorities. PLoS ONE 7(11): e47981. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047981