Rumors of the Demise of Chocolate Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
Over at Salon.com there is an article titled “Why climate change could mean the end of chocolate: Start hiding your Hershey bars. Experts predict a cocoa shortage as soon as 2020.”
According to the story, we should be living in fear:
All 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 ...
But the shortage isn't just about the world going crazy for chocolate -- it also has a lot to do with climate change. A decrease in cocoa supplies can be pinned on West Africa's dry weather, which is only getting worse. In Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire -- responsible for more than 70 percent of global cocoa supply -- a study released by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture predicts a 2 degree celsius (36.5 F) increase in temperatures by 2050.
Here are annual production quantities and yields for cocoa beans on a global basis, as well as for West Africa, Ghana, and Côte d'Ivoire, since records began in 1961 from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Statistics Division.
Production is increasing rapidly up to the present in all regions, and yields are either stable or increasing. Yet, somehow, “climate change could mean the end of chocolate” in the near future? Not likely.