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Why could the coffee crop endure climate change and global warming to a greater extent than previously estimated?

DaMatta, Fábio M., Rahn, Eric, Läderach, Peter, Ghini, Raquel, Ramalho, José C.
Climatic change 2019 v.152 no.1 pp. 167-178
Coffea arabica, beans, carbon dioxide, free air carbon dioxide enrichment, global warming, physiology, prediction, temperature
Coffee, one of the most heavily globally traded agricultural commodities, has been categorized as a highly sensitive plant species to progressive climatic change. Here, we summarize recent insights on the coffee plant’s physiological performance at elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration [CO₂]. We specifically (i) provide new data of crop yields obtained under free-air CO₂ enrichment conditions, (ii) discuss predictions on the future of the coffee crop as based on rising temperature and (iii) emphasize the role of [CO₂] as a key player for mitigating harmful effects of supra-optimal temperatures on coffee physiology and bean quality. We conclude that the effects of global warming on the climatic suitability of coffee may be lower than previously assumed. We highlight perspectives and priorities for further research to improve our understanding on how the coffee plant will respond to present and progressive climate change.