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Scientists hope ‘world’s loneliest tree’ will help answer climate questions

By Eva Corlett

06 Sep 2022 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

The spruce holds a Guinness World Record title for "loneliest tree" on the planet. Scientists are disturbing its peace and quiet to learn about CO2 and the Southern Ocean.

It is regarded as the “loneliest tree in the world” but the Sitka spruce on uninhabited Campbell Island has been keeping good company of late – with a team of New Zealand researchers who believe it could help unlock climate change secrets.

The nine-metre tall spruce holds the Guinness World Record title for the “remotest tree” on the planet. It is the sole tree on the shrubby, windswept island, 700 kilometres south of New Zealand in the Southern Ocean. It’s the only tree for 222km around; its nearest neighbour grows on the Auckland Islands.

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