UCR Study Predicts Climate Change Will Fell Joshua Trees

View of a Joshua tree in the 1,234-squar

They outlived woolly mammoths and sabre-tooth tigers, but, more than 80 percent of the Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park will likely be dead by the year 2070 due to climate change. That's according to a new UC Riverside study. Furthermore, the UCR scientists say that's the best case scenario, based on the assumption that the U.S. steps up the fight against global warming. If nothing is done, they say the national park stands to lose more than 99 percent of its Joshua tree habitat.

There are some 4,000 Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park, which is about 135 miles east of Los Angeles in the low desert of Riverside County. The UCR researchers say already, Joshua trees have been migrating to higher elevations in the park, where the weather is cooler.

Their study was published in the journal "Ecosphere."

Photo: Getty Images

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