If you’ve got a sweet tooth, we have some unfortunate news for you: chocolate might be gone forever within the next 30 years.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that, as a result of changing climates around the world, cacao plants (from which chocolate is made) will become nearly impossible to grow within the next few decades. Because the plant can only grow in specific areas, and the way it is farmed is not changing, chocolate production appears highly threatened.
According to CBS, the chocolate-producing plants grow only in specific locations, thriving in the rainforest and with stable temperatures, high humidity, heavy rain, rich soil, and protection from wind. NOAA’s experts say that climate change will slowly push the ideal cacao-growing climate into less suitable areas at higher altitudes.
By 2050, researchers estimate that over 89% of the areas where chocolate is currently grown will no longer be suitable for the cacao crops.
Chocolate experts aren’t giving up without a fight, though. University of California scientists are teaming up with candy company Mars in an attempt to edit the cacao plant’s genes so that it is more resilient to the changing weather conditions and capable of being grown despite climate change.
Unfortunately, the research might not solve the problem quickly enough.