The year 2018 started on a disappointing note with "chocolate extinction story." But, chocolate lovers can relax, as it might not disappear.
Reports were doing the rounds that chocolates could go extinct by 2050 due to climate change. The news became a viral sensation on social media after Business Insider ran a story with "Chocolate is on track to go extinct in 40 years" headline.
According to the publication, warmer temperatures and drier weather conditions will have an impact on cacao plants, which are a natural source of chocolate, and this will lead to the disappearance of the "ultimate comfort food."
The article also stated that Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, the two West African countries that produce huge quantity of chocolates won't be able to grow cacao plants by 2050 due to the increase in temperature. The article quoted a two-year-old National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) story.
However, environmental site Earther pointed out that the NOAA story doesn't say that cacao plant is getting extinct. The story says that the temperature change will mark a reduction in suitable cultivation area but it doesn't mention extinction.
"Chocolate is now grown around the globe—typically within 10° north and south of the equator. The world's leading producers are Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Indonesia. Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana produce over half of the world's chocolate. But research highlighted in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability report indicates that, under a "business as usual" scenario, those countries will experience a 3.8°F (2.1°C) increase in temperature by 2050 and a marked reduction in suitable cultivation area," NOAA reported.
Peter Läderach, the theme leader for Climate Change at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), authored a paper that gives information about cacao cultivation. Läderach, in his research, states that the climate change will have an impact but there is time for adaptation.
"These changes in climatic suitability are predicted to take place over a time period of almost 40 years, so they will mostly impact the next rather than the current generation of cocoa trees and farmers. In other words, there is time for adaptation," mentioned the author in his study.