Chocolate could run out within 30 years because of climate change

Henrietta Strickland
January 2, 2018

The technology allows scientists to edit the DNA of plants to make them sturdier and more resilient to new environmental challenges. Despite the fact that her apparatus has gotten more consideration for its capability to annihilate human infections and make alleged "fashioner babies", Doudna figures its most significant applications won't be on people but instead on the food they eat.

Cocoa plants are struggling as the climate warms up.

Farmers in countries such as Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana - which produce more than half of the world's chocolate - now face a decision over whether to move cacao production areas thousands of feet uphill into mountainous terrain which is carefully preserved for wildlife.

The trees can only grow within approximately 20 degrees north and south of the Equator - and they thrive under specific conditions such as high humidity and abundant rain. It's also frequently victim to fungal disease and climate change.

Yet, those regions won't be appropriate for chocolate in the following couple of decades.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, by 2050 the rising temperatures will push the chocolate-growing regions of the world more than 1,000 feet uphill into mountainous terrain - much of which is now preserved for wildlife.

Mars, Incorporated is well aware of these problems and other related issues that climate change poses.

Barry Parkin, Mars' chief sustainability officer, told Business Insider: "We're trying to go all in here..."

Mars' decision to collaborate with UC Berkeley scientists is a part of this initiative. "There are obviously commitments the world is leaning into but, frankly, we don't think we're getting there fast enough collectively".

Jennifer Doudna, the geneticist who invented CRISPR, is overseeing the collaborative effort with Mars, the company behind Snickers and M&M's. "Personally, I'd love a tomato plant with fruit that stayed on the vine longer", she said.

Whether you're more into dark, milk, white or even that new ruby one that virtually no one has got to try, there's no denying that chocolate is a gift sent from the gods to keep us all comfortable while binging on a new Netflix series. One such project aims to protect cassava - a key crop that prevents millions of people from starving each year - from climate change by tweaking its DNA to produce less of a risky toxin that it makes in hotter temperatures.

Well, maybe we really should savour every last bite of that soft, chocolatey goodness, as expects have the predicted the unthinkable, that chocolate will become extinct in 40 years.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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