Cavendish the top banana – for now!

banana The forgotten death of the ‘Gros Michel’ banana bears a stark warning about how global warming could drive us all to starvation.

In the 1950s, the world happily chomped its way through two different varieties of banana. There was the Cavendish, the banana that we know and love today, and the Gros Michel, a smaller, sweeter variety. The Gros Michel, however, was wiped out in the same decade by a single disease.

The entire world trade in bananas, and many developing economies, are now based on a single variety, the Cavendish. Experts fear that it too may be vulnerable.

The Telegraph, 7 Dec 2015

life not a box of….

chocolateAll signs point to a pretty terrifying future for the world if scientists’ warnings about climate change continue to fall on deaf ears. But now, it looks like our inability to address climate change adequately might cost us one of the world’s most pure, innocent, and wonderful pleasures: chocolate.

According to Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s largest chocolate manufacturing company, our growing love for chocolate might mean “a potential cocoa shortage by 2020.” But the shortage isn’t just about the world going crazy for chocolate — it also has a lot to do with climate change…. Higher temperatures mean that more water evaporates into the air from leaves and earth, leaving less behind for cocoa trees — a process called “evapotranspiration.”
Salon, 20 Nov 2014

thanks to Peter

flatter bread breaks hearts

German researchers have shown that high CO2 levels in the atmosphere lead to wheat crops throughout Europe with less gluten, the protein in flour that forms the gooey matrix of dough.

By 2050, the researchers say, the expected CO2 levels in the atmosphere may lead to dough that rises nearly 20% less than it does now. The researchers, from the Johann Heinrich von Thunen Institute in Braunschweig , say that CO2 disrupts nitrogen uptake by the plants, and this causes the protein deficiency.

A world with less gluten may appeal to coeliac sufferers and other members of the wheatless protection program. But for fans of ciabatta and pain de campagne, bread with texture like sponge cake is a heart-breaking prospect.
New Scientist, 10 Jul 2008

important scientific study left incomplete!

Long-term global warming could cause loaves of bread to shrink in size due a reduction in the amount of protein in grains, Australian scientists have found. Dr Glenn Fitzgerald, a senior researcher for the state government of Victoria who led the study, said the amount of protein in the grain is set to reduce by 2 to 14 per cent if carbon dioxide levels increase as anticipated.

Asked about the taste of the 2050 loaves, he said: “We haven’t actually eaten them. We baked the loaves of bread for scientific processes,” he said. “They get dried out. I don’t know what it tastes like.”
The Telegraph (UK) 23 Jun 2013

gingerbread houses continue to crumble

Gingerbread houses latest victim of global warming. Sweet-toothed Swedes who have spent hours constructing edible Christmas gingerbread houses are seeing their creations collapse in the Scandinavian country’s unusually damp winter, suppliers said on Monday.

“The damp weather spells immediate devastation for gingerbread houses. The problem is the mild winter,” spokesman at Sweden’s leading gingerbread wholesaler Anna’s, Aake Mattsson, told Swedish news agency TT.
Terra Daily, 11 Dec 2006

fish and chips are off the menu

Warming seas will push traditional fish favourites off the British menu, a study suggests. Fish such as haddock, plaice and lemon sole will decline as the North Sea warms by a predicted 1.8 degrees over 50 years, say scientists.

The classic fish and chips enjoyed by previous generations could be replaced by the likes of sardines and squid, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
BBC News, 14/4/15

thanks to BadgerBod

bury that chocolate

“One of climate change’s potential victims is chocolate. Will the prospect of losing their favorite dessert finally get people to wake up? Some experts are predicting that in a matter of decades a drop in production due to changing weather and agriculture incentives may make chocolate ‘as expensive as gold’. In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar.”
Alternet.org, 12 Nov 2010, “Global Warming could lead to vast chocolate shortage”