Places to visit before they disappear around the world
There isn’t a location on the planet unaffected by climate change, however, some are being destroyed at a faster rate than others. There are also local cultures and traditions around the world that are changing at a frantic pace. These are all breathtaking locations packed full of opportunities that your family will talk about endlessly.
Given the relentless pace of decline, it is important that we document how these locations look now, so we can at least share the memory with future generations. Here are some of the locations that will be unrecognizable within our lifetime.
Venice is the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region and is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. This location is listed on World Monuments Fund (WMF) which is a list of places under threat be it a war zone or environmental.
This is due to several things including sea levels rising with global warming. The city is also slowly sinking with the increase of population. They also experience flooding due to large cruise ships starting wakes to close by.
Tibbets linguistic diversity is disappearing with the rise of the internet and state-funded schooling. By the end of the century, only 50 percent of the world languages will be extinct. Along with it, thousands of years of traditions and knowledge.
“Tibetan” which is spoken by 6.2 million Tibetans is actually three different languages mixed together and is considered different dialects. Though it is in fact three different languages all that use the same alphabet. Majority of the languages spoken on the plateau are only verbal or written and are fading with the rise of their infrastructure. So if you’re looking for a diverse cultural experience go soon! Learn more here.
Easter Island is threatened by sea-level rise. The island is in the southeastern Pacific Ocean and known for its statues, first made by the Rapa Nui people centuries ago.
At its peak, the island was thought to have about 17,500 people, but when Dutch explorers arrived in the year 1722 it had no more than 3,000 people. By the 1860s, they all had disappeared. These ancient sites are in threat of washing away into the sea with some climate models predicting that sea levels will rise by five to six feet [1.5 to 1.8 meters] by 2100! Learn more here.
The Arctic that we already know is melting, consists of a sea surrounded by land, and this stops its ice from drifting away every summer. While previously thought to be growing, the Antarctic is the opposite, land surrounded by water and most of it melts every year. While in winter it refreezes, covering almost 7 million square miles with sea ice.
And until now, the annual freeze has been laying in more ice every year and the ice sheet has been growing. Until this year ice has started disappearing a month ahead of schedule and faster previous years.
There is a more ominous change deeper down in the ocean, particularly near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Totten Glacier in East Antarctica. Subsurface ocean warming has been detected up against the base of the ice sheets creating subsurface melting and could destabilize the ice sheets, accelerating future global sea-level rise. Learn more here.
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than 2,600 km (1616 miles) and is comprised of around 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands. Coral cover on surveyed reefs has declined by about 50% in the last thirty years alone, according to research by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) found that two-thirds of that decline has occurred since 1998.
Climate change is behind “mass coral bleaching,” which occurs when the ocean water warms unnaturally, where the coral expels the algae living within its branches. The algae is the coral’s primary food source, so while coral can sometimes recover from a bleaching event, many die, especially if mass coral bleaching is recurrent. Learn more here.
Tuvalu is a tiny Polynesian nation located between Australia and Hawaii and could soon be completely covered by the Pacific Ocean because sea levels continue to rise. The highest point of the 9-island country (only 10 square miles) is about 15 feet above sea level as it is, and even a few inches of rising could have devastating consequences for the tiny nation.
If there’s one thing everyone knows about the Dead Sea it is that you can’t sink in it! The water is 9 times saltier than any other ocean water and gives you the float tank experience.
Though a slowly increasing crisis the dead sea is gradually shrinking under the heat of the Middle Eastern sun. The surface level is dropping more than a meter (3ft) a year. For those who don’t know the Dead Sea is the lowest point on the planet and is currently 420m (1,380ft) below sea level.
While it is to soon to say that the Dead Sea is dying, that’s a better description of the river that feeds it. The river now reaching lows in the dry season that you can walk over it, once was the greatest waterways in the ancient world. They say Christ was even baptized in it.
It’s hard to not mention religious notions though it’s so intertwined in the history of this region. The River Jordan is fed by the River Yarmouk, which flows through Syria. Over the last 30 years, the Syrians have built more than 40 dams to harness the water in the Yarmouk, the water that once fed the Jordan.
While some Jordanians believe Syria built some of these dams to punish Israel and Jordan for signing a peace treaty in 1994. There’s still water in the Dead Sea just fleeting! Learn more here.
Though these beautiful locations are going to disappear at our current rate of consumption we still have a little time to change our ways. There is hope though it’ll take some elbow grease and some time!
Here are some other breathtaking locations to visit: