Speed Reads

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The American coffee farming opportunity created by climate change

As climate change-driven extreme heat, changing rain patterns, and even unexpected frosts harm coffee crops in Colombia, Brazil, and Vietnam, some U.S.-based farmers and researchers are seizing the opportunity created by rising temperatures, Reuters writes.

The U.S. is the "world's largest" coffee consumer, but produces just 0.01% of the global crop, writes Reuters. However, as the climate warms, particularly in the southern part of the country, researchers at the University of Florida have begun investigating Florida as a potential region for coffee harvesting. 

"With climate change, we know many areas in the world will have difficulties growing coffee because it is going to be too hot, so Florida could be an option," said Diane Rowland, a lead researcher on the project.

Farmers in California have also had luck growing coffee as of late. The plant "uses 20 percent less water than most fruit and nut trees," perfect for Golden State farmers plagued with droughts and forest fires, notes Reuters. And with production in top-producing Brazil hurt for both this year and next, farmers in new regions — like California — stand to benefit from the "the largest-ever coffee growing endeavor in the United States." Read more at Reuters.