Researchers are predicting that the spatially uneven distribution of climate change risks will further exacerbate the inequalities of environmental change in the coming decades. This case study of coffee offers a window into the feedback loops of ecological health, agricultural economies, and social well-being on a quickly warming planet. Drawing from a review of research across disciplines, we explore three human-driven factors that have increased the risks of loss for coffee producers in the face of climate change. These three characteristics of the coffee commodity chain—geographical consolidation, genetic variation, and market factors—enmesh social, ecological, and economic expectations of coffee as a high-value agricultural product. Considering the impact of climate change on coffee production sheds light on how climate change interacts with preexisting ecological, social, and economic challenges of global, agricultural production.

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