According to the Daily Mail, the trees can only grow 20 degrees north and south of the equator, under very specific climate conditions and therefore the predicted temperature rise of just two degrees is expected to complete wreak havoc with their ability to grow.
Myeong-Je Cho, the director of plant genomics at the university, has kept tiny green cacao seedlings in refrigerated containers in order to work on them and make them a little more flexible. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US, cacao trees can only grow within 20 degrees north or south of the equator, where conditions are just right - fairly constant warm temperatures, high humidity, high rainfall, low winds and rich soils, conditions one would expect from rainforests.
Cocoa plants are struggling as the climate warms up.
Crispr-Cas9 is a tool for making precise edits in DNA, discovered in bacteria. Half of the world's chocolate is produced in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, where the plants thrive at around 300 to 850 feet above sea level and under dependably humid weather conditions. But there's one glimmer hope on the horizon: Mars-the candy company which makes such chocolate treats as the Snickers and the Twix bar-has teamed up with the University of California on a new method that may help save future cacao crops. But their most important use may be in the developing world, where numerous plants that people rely on to avoid starvation are threatened by the impacts of climate change, including more pests and a lack of water.
Mars pledged $1 billion to an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, and part of that is going to a lab at UC Berkeley's biosciences building. The company's chief sustainability officer, Barry Parkin, told BI UK his company is trying "to go all in".
An ardent tomato nursery worker, Doudna figures her device can profit everybody from substantial food organizations like Mars to singular specialists like herself. Numerous efforts by graduate students there focus on using CRISPR to benefit small-holder farmers in the developing world.
But things will not remain the same due to climate change.
The good news is that any chocolate shortage won't hit us out of nowhere in 2018.