Will Drought Threaten the Global Beer Supply?

A journalistic collaboration on climate change.
Oct. 15 2013 10:59 AM

Drought Is Coming for Your Beer

Unlocking the barley genome could help prevent a brewing catastrophe.

Can German scientists protect a key beer ingredient from climate change? As Oktoberfest rages on, geneticist Nils Stein is deciphering the genome of barley, looking for genes that could help the plant survive through droughts. The study's implications go beyond beer tents: Barley is the fourth-most-produced cereal in the world, and a drought that devastated Syria's barley crop contributed to that country's civil war.

Produced in part by a grant from the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

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Tim McDonnell is Climate Desk’s associate producer.

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