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YPIE Scientist: Valeria Toro






Research: Environmental factors and its effects on caffeine quality in Colombian coffee using a python prediction model


Awards: Somers Science Fair 2022 - 2nd place Environmental Science


Mentor: Dr. Zoe Diaz


Research Location: Chicago Botanical Garden


Abstract:


In Colombia, arabica coffee is mainly grown and where it is one of the main sources of coffee production in South America. High altitude and increased shade levels are factors that have been shown to affect caffeine content. The increases in climate change have been causing changes within the environment globally, especially the environmental factors best suited for coffee growth. Research on environmental factors on caffeine content and quality within coffee are limited, especially on Colombian arabica coffee that is grown within small-scale farms. The purpose of this research is to create a python prediction model that will reveal the possible changes of environmental factors such as temperature and precipitation that will affect coffee quality and caffeine content due to climate change. The possible outcome will be that locations with the most drastic changes in temperature, decreased canopy cover, and an increase in precipitation will decrease the quality of Colombian coffee. Research will be conducted in three provinces that regularly produce coffee such as Armenia, Cali, and Rio Negro. Variables will be measured such as the elevation of the plant, the maximum and minimum temperatures, and precipitation to be the source of data. Materials such as data formatted from each 3 locations into excel and python 3.10 will be used. Related results have shown areas of increased precipitation with drastic increase in temperature will have declined crop yields. Expected results are that the coffee beans grown with increased precipitation and increased temperatures will be the most negatively affected by climate change. The significance of these findings is that not much research has been conducted on the declining quality of Colombian arabica coffee, specifically rural areas grown by local farmers. Such research is also important to the local economy of Colombia and how it will affect local farmers and will be significant in researching climate change and its effects on coffee production.




About this Scientist:

My name is Valeria Toro and I am a student at Yonkers High School. I have been researching on Colombian coffee and how environmental changes, specifically caused from climate change can negatively affect coffee growth. Much of my research is due to being Colombian myself and wanting to learn more about a defining part of my culture!

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