Our research found that climate change could cause a beer shortage. Here’s why.

But the overall trend is clear: At a global level, barley yields will at best — under the optimistic scenario — decrease by 3 percent. And in the worst-case scenario, yields will fall 17 percent.

We know that climate change will mean less barley — but what about beer? One factor to consider is that barley is mostly used to feed livestock, and beer is ultimately more dispensable than meat. This means that declining yields will hit beer production extra hard.

Ultimately, our modeling suggests that during the most severe climate events, the price of beer would double and global consumption would decline by 16 percent, or 29 billion liters. That is roughly equal to the total annual beer consumption of the U.S. Even under the optimistic scenario of less extreme climate change, beer consumption would still drop by 4 percent.

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