Visits These Endangered Destinations Before They Vanish
Do you want to go skiing in the Alps, see the glaciers or scuba dive among the brilliantly colored corals of the Great Barrier Reef? If so, you’d better hurry – something’s been around for centuries may not be around for centuries yet, thanks to the realities of global warming, these destinations and many others are in danger.
Awareness of these growing environmental threats has created a new trend in the travel industry – global warming travel. Spurred by the threat that global warming poses to many popular destinations, travelers are hurrying to see these places before they disappear. But in doing so, they may be contributing to the problem; carbon emissions from flights, rental cars and other tourist activities only help further climate change.
1 Venice – Italy
The tourist hotspot of Venice is a must-see. However the city, with its intricate network of canals and waterways, is notoriously low-lying: several of the cities’ ornate buildings have suffered subsidence and structural damage as a result of rising water levels and changes to the ways the soil in the city retains water. In 2008, the city was struck by catastrophic floods that left little in the city undamaged. According to scientific info collated by Information is Beautiful, a one metre rise in sea levels will be enough to submerge the city.
So Venice is sinking. But the question remains — how long will it take before it turns from floating jewel to a playground for divers? The answer comes from a new research by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, expected to be published on Wednesday: Venice is still sinking, and sinking at a rate of up to two millimeters per year (0.08 inches).
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2 Swiss Alps – Switzerland
Scientists have warned that the Swiss Alps will no longer be covered by ice at the end of the century if glaciers continue to melt at the current rate.
Glaciers has been losing their masses year by year, according to experts from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
“Ten years from now about 20 per cent of the ice will have melted away,” says glaciologist Martin Funk. He says the glaciers under observation have all lost up to in terms of metres in thickness and they continued to shrink day by day.
A FEW STATISTICS
• The last twenty years have been the warmest in the history of our planet.
• Over the last century the average temperature in the Alps has increased by +1.5°C.
• In Switzerland during 2013, 82 observed glaciers saw 66 of them retreating.
• Only in five cases, the glacier tongue has remained where it was (+/- 1m) and 11 glaciers are advancing.
• By 2100, most of the glaciers in the Alps will be just a memory.
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3 Great Barrier Reef – Queensland, Australia
Time is running out for Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, with climate change set to wreck irreversible damage by 2030 unless immediate action is taken, remarked by the marine scientists
In a report on Earth Hour global climate change campaign, University of Queensland reef researcher Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said:
“If we don’t increase our commitment to solve the burgeoning stress from local and global sources, the reef will disappear,” he wrote in the foreword to the report.
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There is a concern that the Maldives Islands will be flooded by the ocean. As everybody knows the world has been polluting the ozone layer. So it has been breaking down, letting more sunlight into Earth, causing the water levels to rise.
Maldives Island is surrounded by water so the water could slowly drown out this whole island with just 3 feet over sea level, leaving it under the water. It is a small country that consists of 1190 islands located in the Indian Ocean. They are known primarily as a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. The islands are placed in atolls formed from coral reefs. They are characterized by a beautiful landscapes and clean water, many exotic animals and plants. Most of the animals live underwater such as sharks, dolphins, fish, and sea turtles. There are some land animals like crabs, the gray heron, and chameleons. Some of the plants are the sea hibiscus, coconut trees, and tropical almonds.
Despite its popularity, nature cannot be fooled. As experts estimate, in a few decades these islands may disappear. The increase in global temperatures result in rising sea level. As a result, there is the risk that many lands will be flooded.
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5 Taj Mahal – Agra, India
The Taj Mahal will collapse within five years unless urgent action is taken to shore up its foundations, campaigners have warned.
The 358-year-old marble mausoleum is India’s most famous tourist attraction, bringing four million visitors a year to the northern city of Agra
Campaigners believe the foundations have become brittle and are disintegrating.
Cracks appeared last year in parts of the tomb, and the four minarets which surround the monument are showing signs of tilting. Alongside with the nearby vehicle traffic, it contributes to steady erosion and air pollution every day. Not to mention the building’s foundations are slowly sinking towards the Yamuna River.
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6 Dead Sea – Jordan
The Dead Sea is famous for its high salt content, and because salt water is denser than fresh water, it’s easier for us to stay afloat in the Dead Sea than in an average swimming pool. That’s why millions of tourists flock to its waters annually for the unique experience of feeling like they’re floating weightlessly.
However, the Dead Sea is in danger of disappearing due to lack of water coming in from its main source: the Jordan River. That, combined with the mineral mining that’s taking place in the south portion of the Sea has created a detrimental situation.
The Dead Sea water levels are dropping at a rate of more than one meter per year. According to the data, it stood at 427.13 meters (about 1,400 feet) below sea level, nearly 27 meters lower than in 1977.
Sinkholes, some the size of a basketball court, are appearing around the now receding water, threatening visitors’ safety and creating a ghastly landscape. Take a look at the almost unrecognizable recent images of the Dead Sea.
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7 Machu Picchu – Peru
In the last century, the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu have become one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. And as the journey to see the “Lost City” has grown easier with the addition of train service, its remote location high in a cloud forest of the Peruvian Andes hasn’t been able to shield it from the damaging effects of extreme popularity.
Uncontrolled development, erosion, and the ongoing risk of landslides that could wipe out the site keep Machu Picchu’s future at risk. In light of the rapid growth to meet tourism needs in nearby Aguas Calientes, UNESCO counseled authorities to take “rigorous emergency measures to counter the growing disorganization” and to create a buffer around Machu Picchu to protect it from urban encroachment.
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For those who have not seen them and captured a memorable photos of your own, hurry, book your tickets and accommodations now before it is too late!