By ARJAN BATTH
In the near future, your favorite confectionery treat- chocolate- may not exist. Scientists claim that because of climate change and rising global temperatures; cocoa beans may no longer be able to be cultivated in tropical climates. Cocoa plants can strictly only be grown in tropical climates, and need wet, humid weather to thrive. But climate change is making these climates hotter and unoccupiable for cocoa plants. This forces cocoa farmers to reestablish their farms in higher elevations with cooler climates. However, these regions that grow cocoa beans have limited elevated land. In places like West Africa ,where a large portion of cocoa beans are grown, higher elevations are nature reserves, leaving no excess land for cocoa to be grown. As if the fate of chocolate can’t be more grim, fungal diseases like Frosty Pod Rot which has spread throughout South and Central America can destroy entire cocoa plantations. Chocolate production has recently decreased as well, but the demand for chocolate continues to rise. This will increase the price of chocolate in coming years. Scientists estimate that chocolate may go extinct as early as 2050. But the future isn’t entirely grim. Some scientific specialists have began to genetically engineer cocoa plants to make them stronger and able to be grown in colder climates.