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Warming and habitat loss shrink pollinator numbers. That may hit coffee, cocoa crops hard in future
A new study finds that changes in the climate and land use are combining to dramatically shrink the numbers of insects pollinating key tropical crops
Changes in the climate and land use are combining to dramatically shrink the numbers of insects pollinating key tropical crops. As those problems interwine and intensify, it likely will hit coffee lovers right in the mug, according to a new study.
And that one-two punch will melt some chocolate fans’ dreams too, scientists said.
Scientists looked at thousands of species and sites and found when temperatures warmed up beyond the normal range combined with a shrinking habitat of flowering plants, the number of insects that pollinate those plants plummets by 61%, according to a study in Thursday’s Science Advances. Study authors said bees, flies, moths and other pollinators are being hit harder than the general insect population.
“We’re seeing the climate change is already having this really strong impact on pollinators," said study co-author Tim Newbold, an ecologist at the University College of London.