Global warming could cause big changes in South Africa in the next 50 years, including the loss of many plant species, less rainfall, and an increase in wildfires, according to a report released by the South African branch of the World Wildlife Fund. One of the report’s authors, William Bond of the University of Cape Town, said he had been skeptical about global warming predictions, but now felt they were accurately “alarming and scary.” So scary, he said, that he decided to make the report available to the general public, rather than publishing the results in a little-read scientific journal. Among the frightening prospects, the report predicts that the Karoo region, which contains the greatest variety of succulent flora in the world, could become so dry that only the hardiest plants would survive.

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