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Africa’s Iconic Baobab Trees Are Dying

Baobab trees are old, have iconic structures with stalky branches that project out unexpectedly from thick, rugged trunks. These unstructured trees can grow to a tremendous size and are usually spotted in low-lying areas in Africa and Australia.

Baobab Tree, Africa
Baobab Tree, Africa

They are also referred to as upside-down trees because of their spindly branches, which look like roots stretching up to the sky. They are also known as monkey bread trees as they produce plentiful fruit.

Till today’s date, these trees were almost indestructible. It’s cavernous trunks have been used by people in their homes, stores, shops, and even cocktail bars.

Soon, these trees began to fall, and in early 2016, it was reported that the Sunland baobab in Modjadjiskloof, South Africa, which has an impressive height of 62 feet and around 112 feet in girth began to shatter. By late 2016, it was collapsed completely.

According to two new studies reported, ice in Antarctica is melting at a breakneck speed, and the following sea rises could have dreadful consequences for cities around the world.

Moreover, the rate has accelerated threefold in the last five years of the melting of Antarctic ice sheets, tell the reports led by scientists in the UK and the US. They also added that it is almost on its verge of vanishing faster than any previously recorded time.

It is warned by a separate study that unless strict urgent action is taken by the next decade, i.e., 2070, the melting ice could have contributed more than 25cm to a total sea level rise level of more than a metre. This could even collapse the complete Antartic ice sheet and nearly 3.5m of sea-level rise.

According to a research in a new study in the journal Nature Plants, in the last 12 years, a large number of the oldest and greatest baobabs in Africa have died. They have discovered 9 of the 13 oldest dead or near to death, which have lost their oldest stems or parts over the past 12 years.

The Sunland baobab, also known as the Plat and tree, had been working as a cocktail bar. Some people are of the thought that maybe all those people visiting the tree’s innards are the reason for its death, but it was not the only baobab that broke.

It is not clear that if it is the first time baobabs have died off in this way, even researchers are not sure of it. Whenever these trees decay, they swiftly do and hardly leave any marks behind. However, scientists are not sure of the cause of their sudden death, but they assume that the changing climate may be a reason to blame.


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