I’ve recently noticed articles on how climate change is affecting the production of tea. First, I noted an article on Assam’s tea production being affected, then saw others about other tea-producing areas as well. One of them stated that it could affect tea production by a cut of over one-half sometime in the future.
Since I have no background or knowledge in the area of climate and weather and know there is a debate going on, I’ll confine this to what I’ve read about how tea may be affected should we experience the climate changes predicted in the articles. If you haven’t read anything on the subject and want to learn more, please Google “climate change and tea production” and you will find more than enough reading material to keep you busy.
There are many ways climate can affect tea production. One problem can produce another. Assam growers have noted an increase in pests due to the dry conditions. From a BBC story,
“The change in precipitation, particularly, will be very critical,” says Prof Arup Kumar Sarma of the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, who recently carried out research on Assam’s tea gardens and climate change. Our study shows that this region will be having a longer dry period and the peak flow of the monsoon will also be increasing. That means we will have very extreme rainfall.”
“A report from Climate Central in 2015 found that “tea growing regions could decline in some parts of the world by up to 40-55 percent in the coming decades due to the results of a changing climate.”
From the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, this pdf is fairly detailed on the overall worldwide picture. Included in the stats of this report are China and Kenya. Kenya is the largest exporter of black tea in the world.
With the state of the world, in general, these days and the uncertainty of the future, none of us need something else to think about. And none of this may affect the future of tea businesses and tea lovers reading this, but it is just another indication that we live in a dramatically changing world, one that will affect everyone in some way, to some extent. It spurs me to think more about how what I do affects the environment.