Chocolate lovers, you have scientists to thank for working to avoid the catastrophe that would be everyone's favorite candy vanishing in our lifetime. Thus, the world's cocoa comes nearly exclusively from regions 10 to 20 degrees north and south of the equator, most notably in West Africa - areas that are expected to continue getting hotter and drier over the next few decades.
Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, the two major cocoa exporters, each have the necessary climate conditions for the cocoa plant to grow and thrive, including an appropriate humidity level and temperature.
A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that the changing temperatures around the planet will make it close to impossible to grow cacao plants in the next 30 years, hence a potential halt in chocolate production, CBS reports.
By 2050, those countries are looking at a 3.8˚F temperature increase, without the accompanying increase in rainfall of warmer countries!
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The work is important not just for people who enjoy chocolate, but also for the 40 to 50 million people worldwide who depend on it for their livelihoods. The team hopes to use the gene-editing technique CRISPR to coax cacao plants into becoming more resilient to changing weather conditions globally. The company's chief sustainability officer, Barry Parkin, told BI UK his company is trying "to go all in".
Mars, which would obviously be majorly affected by a drop in chocolate supply, pledged $1 billion back in September to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 60 percent by 2050.
FYI, other foods at risk of not surviving climate change include coffee, apples, and potatoes.