Scientists predict that the spiny trees are unlikely to survive through the end of the century due to climate crisis

Scientists predict that the spiny-crested fixtures of the high desert are unlikely to survive through the end of the century due to global heating. By 2100, only 0.02% of the tree’s current habitat in Joshua Tree national park would remain viable amid unmitigated climate change, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Ecosphere.

If officials eventually do choose to protect the tree under the state Endangered Species Act, it would be the first time a species has been listed primarily due to threats from climate change.

The decision frustrated Brendan Cummings, the conservation director for the Center for Biological Diversity who spearheaded the efforts to list Joshua trees. The iconic California species is already contending with the effects of the climate crisis, he said, and they need urgent help. “What we have here is a very clear, undeniable threat to the Joshua trees,” said Cummings.

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