Scientist: climate change to impact beer production
Climate change in coming decades will put the squeeze on beer supplies by
impeding the production of a key grain needed for the brew - especially in
Australia, a climate scientist warned Tuesday.
Jim Salinger, a climate scientist at New Zealand's National Institute of
Water and Atmospheric Research, said climate change likely will cause a
decline in the production of malting barley in parts of New Zealand and
Australia. Malting barley is a key ingredient of beer.
''It will mean either there will be pubs without beer or the cost of beer
will go up,'' Salinger told the Institute of Brewing and Distilling
Similar effects could be expected worldwide, but Salinger spoke only of the
effects on Australia and New Zealand. He said climate change could cause a
drop in beer production within 30 years, especially in parts of Australia, as
dry areas become drier and water shortages worsen.
Barley growing parts of Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New
South Wales would likely be harder hit than growing areas in New Zealand's
''Most areas in Australia where malting barley is cropped are likely to
experience producing declines,'' he said.
''It will provide a lot of challenges for the brewing industry,'' even
forcing breweries to look at new varieties of malt barley as a direct result
of climate change, Salinger said.
New Zealand and Australian brewer Lion Nathan's corporate affairs director
Liz Read said climate change already was forcing the price of malted barley,
sugar, aluminum and sugar up.
Read said as well as climate change, barley growers were competing with other
forms of land use.
In the past two years pressure on cropping land in New Zealand had increased
with the expansion of the dairy industry, fueled by major international dairy
commodity prices rises. (AP)
8. April 2008 - 8:52#1