A climate for coffee: Researchers work to get ahead of potential threats to Hawaii’s signature crop

KAILUA-KONA — Climate change poses a viable threat to coffee production around the world, yet Hawaii appears more immune to its impacts than most other coffee-heavy regions — at least for now.

Love cited several reasons he doesn’t believe climate change has or will hit the crop in Hawaii nearly as hard as has been observed in other coffee centers throughout the world.

“We’re at the perfect latitude,” Love explained. “It’s more the ideal temperature here.”

He added while droughts come to Hawaii more frequently than before and heavy rainfall events can pose problems, Hawaii’s drainage is superb.

The geographical buffers afforded Hawaii via its mid-ocean location also mitigate the havoc weather events can bring down upon the state’s coffee industry, said Andrea Kawabata, a University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources extension agent based in Kainaliu.

Climate change doesn’t only affect heat and rainfall, however. The coffee berry borer, the most recent scourge on the Kona industry, is bolstered by rising temperatures, Steiman said.

Source: A climate for coffee: Researchers work to get ahead of potential threats to Hawaii’s signature crop

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