Climate change is an issue most people accept (most sane people, at least), but few actually experience in an obvious way in their everyday lives.
That is why I was especially surprised to learn that the main culprit behind the massive drop in production of Assam teas seems to be just that.
Scientists point out that, in the last 60 years, rainfall in Assam has fallen by more than 20% and minimum temperature has risen from 65°F to 67°F (2 degrees may not seem like a lot, but that may be all it takes to diminish the polar ice caps a little more, which could have a tremendous impact on the entire globe).
This seems to be the most compelling reason that in just two years, from 2007-2009, production of Assam tea has decreased nearly 13%.
And a further decrease is expected this year.
The article then goes on to speculate that climate change may even be to blame for a change in the flavor quality of Assam tea, stating that the “creamy and strong flavour is no more.” I am a bit more hesitant to believe this, as there are many other contributing factors that are more likely to effect this (such as change in fertilizer, cultivation methods, etc), not to mention the fact that our very own Assam Finest changed very little in terms of flavor and appearance in the past 3-4 years.
However, it is always a wake-up call when one sees the effects of global warming and climate change hit so close to home.
It is a reminder that this is not just a problem that scientists lament about, thousands of miles away – it is real, and it is on a global scale.
And it is we, supposedly the most civilized beings on the planet, that are the stewards of the Earth. If something needs to be fixed, it is us that needs to fix it. If you are interested in helping, in even a small way, here is a great website to use as a jumping-off point.
Let’s keep our teas (and planet) vibrant and wonderful!