Bid adieu to chocolate post 2040, experts say

Chocolate lovers must be mentally prepared to mourn the death of their staple by 2040, experts warn.
Bid adieu to chocolate post 2040, experts say
Bid adieu to chocolate post 2040, experts say
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Imagine a world without Nutella, Hershey’s bars and chocolate chip cookies... Hard to, isn’t it? Well, a recent report published by says this joyless world could become a reality in the next 22 years – by 2040 -- and the reason is climate change.

According to the report, cacao trees, which require extensive rainfall, are struggling to grow due to rising temperatures. And a temperature rise of 2.1 degrees Celsius over 30 years could potentially destroy the chocolate industry by killing the trees, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Experts say the reason for this rapid loss of cacao trees is that chocolate only grows in a small strip of rainforests around the equator. And as temperatures increase, chocolate planters will have to look at other, less ideal locations to plant cacao trees.

Apart from the rise in temperature, another reason for the potential death of chocolate is that 90% of the cocoa crop is cultivated by small farmers who lack access to improved planting material and equipment, says Doug Hawkins from London based research firm, Hardman Agribusiness.

“All the indicators are that we could be looking at a chocolate deficit of 10,000 tonnes a year,” Hawking said.

However, all hope is not lost for chocolate lovers as scientists are fast coming up with ways to salvage the future. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have come up with a variety of cacao that grows in warmer and drier weather. The better news is that chocolate makers, too, are chipping in to do their bit. The initiative by the UCB has received financial aid from Mars, the maker of MnMs, Snickers and Dove. 

This is hardly the first time that reports linking chocolate to climate change have cropped up. Last year, many news outlets published reports about chocolate tasting better with climate change. However, this prediction was later debunked by experts.

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