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The iconic Joshua tree which survived the extinction of the dinosaurs is at risk of disappearing because of climate change.
Researchers from the University of California, Riverside, completed a study of both young and mature specimens across Joshua Tree National Park.
Attempt - Climate - Change - Joshua - Elimination
They found that if no attempt is made to reduce climate change, Joshua trees face complete elimination in the area by the end of the century.
In a best case scenario, where greenhouse gas emissions are massively reduced, just 19 per cent of the current habitat will still exist between 2070-2099.
Changes - Climate - Change - Figure - Reduces
If only moderate changes are made to tackle climate change, that figure reduces to 14 per cent.
Project lead Lynn Sweet, a plant ecologist, said: 'The fate of these unusual, amazing trees is in all of our hands. Their numbers will decline, but how much depends on us.'
Biologists - Community - Scientist - Volunteers - Joshua
Professional biologists and community scientist volunteers counted all the live Joshua trees in 14 plots across the park, which is in both the Colorado and Mojave desert zones.
They then examined the climate in the plots producing high numbers of trees, and those with less surviving ones.
Scientists - Plots - Rainfall - Levels - Moisture
Scientists discovered that high-producing plots had higher annual rainfall levels, more soil moisture and a lower maximum temperature.
These were in places of a higher elevation in the park, and the more westerly areas.
Joseph - Trees
Older Joseph trees are able to survive...
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