The film Interstellar tells a story about the continuous deterioration of the earth’s climate and environment, which led to a sharp reduction in crop production, which in turn triggered a crisis of human survival. Some people may think that everything in the movie is artistic fiction. But in fact, climate change is quietly affecting the human table.

Food is an essential part of human life not only a source of energy but also a symbol of culture and identity. However, climate change is threatening the production and availability of several foods. Rising temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, and extreme weather events are affecting crop yields and the distribution of food. 

According to a study from Nature Food, climate change is affecting the global supply and cost of basic foods such as wheat, corn, coffee, apples, chocolate and wine. 

Wine grapes

Wine is a luxury beverage enjoyed by many. But, if you enjoy exquisite wines, you might be unhappy to find out that you won’t be able to taste them for a while. Wine production’s productivity and quality are both at risk from climate change. According to a Columbia University study, the global area suitable for cultivating wine grapes might decrease by 56% if temperatures increase by two degrees Celsius. 85% of that area would be unable to produce good wine with four-degree warming.

Ruchu Tie, a manager in charge with 40 years of experience in wine grape cultivation and who owns a vineyard site, said: “Our grapes have accumulated a lot of sugar in recent years due to the extreme weather-related large temperature differences between day and night. Vin rouge and Vin blanc which are our star products cannot be made from wines with too much sugar, which has caused a sharp decline in sales.”


Chocolate is a beloved delicacy around the world. But in the next few decades, chocolate may become a luxury. The production of cocoa, the primary component of chocolate, is being impacted by climate change. Nowadays, African nations like Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire produce more than half of the world’s chocolate. The growth and calibre of cocoa pods can be impacted by changes in rainfall and temperature, which are sensitive to cocoa plants. According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) research, the area ideal for producing cocoa might decrease by 50% in 2050, resulting in a scarcity of cocoa and an increase in the price of chocolate.

It’s difficult for chocolate lovers to give up the silky goodness of chocolate, but it’s the cocoa growers who suffer the most. For farmers in the cocoa-growing regions of West Africa, cocoa beans are their main source of income. 


Seafood is an essential source of protein for millions of people around the world. However, climate change is affecting the distribution and availability of seafood. 

One of the most concerning impacts of climate change on seafood is ocean acidification. The world’s oceans are absorbing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, causing the water to become more acidic. This change in pH can make it such organisms as difficult for ms marine shellfish, corals, and plankton to build and maintain their shells and skeletons. Recent research suggests that ocean acidification is already having a severe impact on shell-forming organisms such as oysters, clams, and mussels. A study by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) found that in waters off the US Pacific Northwest, oysters are failing to reproduce due to increased acidity levels.

Rising temperatures due to climate change are also having a significant impact on seafood. Warmer water temperatures are causing many species of fish to migrate to new areas, disrupting ecosystems and fisheries. A recent study published in the journal Science found that many species of fish have shifted towards the poles at a rate of 72.5 kilometres per decade over the past 50 years. This means that many coastal communities, particularly in developing countries, are losing their traditional fishing grounds, and are having to adapt to new fishing practices and find alternative livelihoods.


Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. However, it is also one of the most vulnerable to climate change. Coffee plants are sensitive to changes in temperature and rainfall, which affect the quality and quantity of coffee beans. 

There are direct hazards and indirect threats, according to Francesco Fiondella, director of communications for Columbia University’s International Research Center for Climate and Society. Temperature rise is the most direct threat to coffee. The ideal temperature range for coffee plants is quite small, falling between 18 and 22 degrees. Temperatures over this ideal range harm both plant health and bean quality. We can anticipate a decrease in productivity in regions where coffee is currently cultivated as a result of rising average temperatures and an increase in the frequency of heat waves. There are other unintended dangers, like decreased productivity due to insect dispersion changes brought on by changing temperature and precipitation patterns.

The increasing temperatures and frequencies of extreme weather will likely mean a significant reduction in areas suitable for growing coffee in places where the majority of the crop is grown. Places like Brazil, Guatemala, Vietnam, Colombia, and Ethiopia. That means economic losses for these countries and loss of livelihood and culture for the small-scale farmers who grow the majority of the coffee we consume today. 


Millions of people worldwide rely mostly on grains like wheat, rice, and maize for their nourishment. Yet, the production and accessibility of grains are under threat from climate change. The agricultural yields are being impacted by climate change, altered rainfall patterns, and extreme weather events, which are reducing the supply and affordability of grains. According to research by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, every degree Celsius increase in temperature might cause a 6% drop in world wheat output, jeopardising the food security of millions of people.

But why are certain foods more at risk from climate change than others?

According to Mr Fiondella, different crops have different thresholds for weather variables such as temperature, water and humidity. “Extreme weather” can mean extremely high or extremely low temperatures, or it can mean excessive amounts of rainfall or extended periods of drought. It can mean very high wind speeds or hail storms. 

All of these conditions impact crops differently. For example, excessive rainfall that leads to flash flooding could wipe out a field of wheat or soybeans, but leave a grove of apple or nut trees relatively undamaged. The same can be said of cold snaps – some plants can tolerate a short duration of ice forming on their leaves, while others will die because of it.

Francesco Fiondella

What can we do to fight climate change?

Projects are being started by experts to lessen the impact of climate change on food.

From November 2017 to June 2022, ACToday, the first Columbia World Project, worked to end hunger in six nations: Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. These nations are especially reliant on agriculture and are susceptible to the effects of climate change and fluctuations.

The project does this by establishing systems to ensure that weather agencies in these countries are providing the most accurate climate information possible and that individuals and institutions in the agricultural sector have access to this knowledge – and can use it to grow more food to feed more people.

Mr Fiondella said: “Our staff at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society specialize in developing climate services–tailored forecasts, analytical tools and mapping platforms–for agriculture, including the coffee sector of Colombia, Guatemala, Ethiopia and Vietnam, 

“We collaborate directly with the national Meteorological agencies of these countries as well as their ministries of agriculture and national coffee boards. We do it this way to ensure that the services we build are useful to and usable by the people whose job it is to make decisions, whether it’s the farmers, agricultural extension agents, or land-use planners.”

The applications they co-developed are helping these institutions provide farmers with location-specific information that’s based on state-of-the-art forecasts, historical climate data, soil maps and other parameters. The farmers can use this information to make farm-level decisions about fertilizer use, irrigation and expected yields. These climate services help the agriculture sector better quantify and prepare for climate-related risks, but sometimes disasters still occur and farmers have to deal with crop losses. 

He said: “That’s why our team works with national governments and large development institutions like the World Food Program and World Ban to Create innovative and affordable index insurance products that farmers can buy to protect themselves against some of the climate-related loss that can occur in a growing season.”

Other projects such as AICCRA (Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research in Africa) by Columbia University and ‘Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change’ engaged by The Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) in collaboration with the Crop Trust are also trying to save endangered food. 

Coffee, cocoa, wine grapes, shellfish, cereals, and grains are just a few of the items whose production and availability are being impacted by climate change. Increased agricultural yields, altered rainfall patterns, and extreme weather events are all contributing to a deterioration in both the quality and quantity of food. The scientific study that supports this topic shows how immediate action is required to reduce the consequences of climate change and guarantee the food security of future generations. To guarantee that food is accessible and affordable for everyone, it is crucial that we take action to lower our carbon footprint, promote sustainable agriculture, and safeguard the environment.