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Shareworthy: Global warming: even cacti can’t take the heat

April 19 - December 31

Sixty percent of cactus species will wind up in less hospitable climates over the coming decades as global warming sets in, according to new research challenging the long-held assumption the iconic desert plants will thrive with more heat.

By 2070, up to 90 percent could be threatened with extinction due to climate change, habitat loss and other stressors, triple the current percentage, scientists reported in Nature Plants.Some 1,500 species of cacti spread across the Americas live in varying climes, ranging from sea-level deserts to the high Andes mountains, from bone-dry ecosystems to humid tropical forests.

Biodiversity hotspots rich in species and numbers include central Mexico and the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

To test the notion that cacti will benefit from a warmer and more drought-prone world, researchers led by Michiel Pillet from the University of Arizona examined data on more than 400 species and ran models projecting how they would fare at mid-century and beyond under different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.

The findings “paint a more pessimistic future,” according to the study, published Thursday.

“Our results suggest that climate change will become a primary driver of cactus extinction risk, with 60 to 90 percent of species assessed negatively impacted” by global warming, the researchers reported.

Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1583478/global-warming-even-cacti-cant-take-the-heat#ixzz7QrxfhwbY

Photo credit: Getty Images via AFP

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Start:
April 19
End:
December 31
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