Climate change could start drastically affecting global barley production, which obviously, drastically affects the beer industry. Droughts have already started to wipe out barley crops across the globe, and all predictions point to droughts and other severe weather becoming more common. So, what does this mean? Should we all go buy hybrid cars right now?
Before you get too panicked, know that some of barley’s best minds are on the case, working specifically to protect barley production from climate change. Check out this video from Tim McDonnell from the climate desk of Slate.com as he dives into the subject.
The gist is a team led by geneticist Neil Stein (great name for someone protecting beer) is trying to crack barley’s genetic code and discover what parts of the barley DNA will help it thrive in more drought-like conditions. They are growing thousands of barley breeds in a variety of climate scenarios to find the tolerances barley needs to survive.
Be sure to watch the video from Slate (and maybe buy that hybrid car anyway, just to be safe).