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Scientists fear baobabs falling victim to global warming

Scientists are trying to find reasons for the unexplained deaths of these iconic trees, that appear to be growing upside down with their roots heading for the sky.

A baobab tree. Picture: Pixabay.com

PRETORIA – Scientists fear that Africa’s giant baobabs are a victim of global warming.

They’re trying to find reasons for the unexplained deaths of these iconic trees, that appear to be growing upside down with their roots heading for the sky.

Baobabs are the oldest angiosperms or flowering plants.

Alarm bells started ringing when the Zimbabwe tree named Panke, which was more than 2,400 year old, started dying eight years ago.

Scientists have been studying baobabs in detail since 2005.

Since then, nine of the 13 oldest baobabs and five of the six largest have died.

They see no indication of an epidemic such as that which killed Dutch elms in Europe 40 years ago.

They suspect global warming, but admit they will have to study this very carefully.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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