Climate change as defined by NASA could involve a change in the Earth’s average temperature, or it could be a change in the Earth’s typical precipitation patterns as defined by NASA. The Earth’s climate, in fact, is always changing. In the past, Earth’s climate has gone through warmer and cooler periods, each lasting thousands of years. More recent observations show that Earth’s climate has been warming, with its average temperature rising a little more than one degree Fahrenheit during the past 100 years or so. This amount may not seem like much, but however small these changes may seem in the Earth’s average temperature, they can lead to big impacts including changing import-export values and volumes.

Datamyne, which offers access to the world’s largest database of import-export data and international trade statistics, working from the Union of Concerned Scientists Climate Hot Map, analyzed its trade data on several products being altered by rising temperatures and found the following:

  • Rising sea levels have caused the Gulf Coast wetlands to slip away along with its shellfish and other seafood. As a result, the U.S. is increasingly turning abroad to meet consumer demand for shrimp. The value of shrimp imports went from $2.9 billion in 2009 to $4.3 billion in 2015.
  • We’re also seeing a rise in oyster imports as a result of greater acidity in the ocean and shellfish being destroyed. The money spent on oyster imports went from $20.6 million in 2009 to $39.9 million in 2015.
  • Rising temperatures are also affecting the global coffee belt with exports from Costa Rica down while the price of coffee is up. In 2013, we spent $230 million for 67.1 Mil. Kg of Costa Rican Arabica coffee; in 2014, we spent $250 million for 64. Mil. Kg, and in 2015 we spent $275 million for 62.5 Mil. Kg.
  • A drier climate is affecting the German beer market with fewer exports to the U.S. and other countries. Brewers are paying more or finding alternatives.
  • The U.S. is importing more wine from the U.K. due to its warmer temperatures. In 2011, our British wine imports were at $3.7 million; in 2015 imports were at $8.1 million.

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