Joshua trees, a remarkable species of the dry southwestern United States, might completely disappear by the end of the century due to climate change, per a new study.
A team from the University of California at Riverside used knowledge from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to evaluate the impact of warming on the distribution of Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) of their namesake Joshua Tree National Park.
The park, which straddles the Colorado and Mojave deserts in southern California, is house to the best concentration of the species, that is in truth no timber at all but members of the agave household which can sometimes seem tree-like.
According to the staff’s modeling, in an optimistic scenario whereby humanity is ready to limit greenhouse emissions to a level, the trees’ cover would retreat by about 80 % by the end of the 21st century.
But below a “business as usual” scenario, the modeling signifies the complete elimination of a species that dates to the Pleistocene era.
Lynn Sweet, the study’s lead author, advised the Los Angeles Times that underneath their pessimistic state of affairs, the park might see ordinary hot temperatures in summer rise by about five to nine degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 to 5 degrees Celsius) and three to seven inches (7.5 to 18 centimeters) less rainfall.
“If Joshua timber might survive these situations, they would already be in them,” stated Sweet.
The Joshua tree, additionally the name of a seminal U2 album, is alleged to have been named by a bunch of Mormon vacationers who crossed the Mojave Desert within the 19th century.
They gave it its title because it reminded them of the Biblical figure Joshua raising his hands skyward in prayer.