Africa’s ancient trees of life are being killed by climate change, according to a recent scientific study. Published in the journal Nature Plants last month, the report claims scores of the ancient baobab trees, some of which are up to 3,000 years old, are now dying because of rising global temperatures. Researches found that nine of the oldest 13 baobab trees and five of the six biggest ones have partially or completely died in the past 12 years. “We think that the death of baobabs may be associated at least in part with significant changes of climate conditions that affect southern Africa in particular,” the authors of the 2018 report wrote. “However, further research is necessary to support this supposition.” Stephan Woodborne, a senior scientist at iThemba labs in Johannesburg, South Africa, said, “Of the oldest trees that we’ve looked at in southern Africa, there are three trees that are older than 2,000 years. In the last 10 years, they’ve all died. Of the 11 trees that are in that age 1,000 to 2,000 years, six of them have died.” It’s still uncertain what is driving the baobab deaths. But Woodborne believes that climate change is the major factor. The baobab trees, which can grow as wide as the length of a bus, have hollow trunks and have been used in the past as storage houses, prisons, and even pubs. Medicinal compounds are made from their leaves, while the fruit, which is rich in vitamin C, is used for nourishment and the seeds give oil. The remarkable trees are well respected in Africa, having helped locals for centuries, so their survival is important to people who live there.