Warming Will Kill 66% of Calif. Plants Within Century

Flora won't have time to migrate if emissions continue at current rate
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2008 1:49 PM CDT
Big Sur, California, in 1972.    (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – If California’s climate warms significantly in the next 100 years the consequences could be grave for the majority of the state’s native plants, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A team of scientists from UC Berkeley and Duke found that up to 66% of the state’s plants wouldn’t have time to migrate to a higher, cooler elevation if carbon emissions continue at their current rate.

Although they studied the migration patterns of nearly 600 California plant species, the researchers did not have enough data to predict the fate of the redwood tree under the high emissions scenario. It’s possible though that only full-grown redwoods will withstand the change: "They may become the living dead," said one of the researchers. "The old ones will remain but the seedlings won't grow.”