Top 10 Places To Go Before They Disappear
Now’s the time to stop putting off that trip you’ve been planning. According to the recent book, 100 Places to Go Before They Disappear, many of the Earth’s most unique places are in danger of vanishing due to global climate change. According to the publisher, Gaute Hogh, the purpose of the book was to show the world’s children the effects of climate change in hopes of reducing the damage already done. Check out these 10 amazing places, all at risk of vanishing if current climate trends aren’t reversed soon…
• Congo Basin, Democratic Republic of Congo- The Congo Basin holds one-quarter of the world’s tropical forests and is home to some of the most endangered species on the planet including Mountain Gorillas and Forest Elephants. Sadly, if deforestation in the region continues at its current rate, half of the rainforest will vanish in the next 50 years.
• Kauai, Hawaii- Kauai, the fourth largest Hawaiian island, is known for its unique cloud-forest ecosystem, which supports rare species like the Honeycreeper. This fragile eco-system is at risk of disruption by rising temperatures caused by global warming.
• Mergui Islands, Myanmar– Located in the Indian Ocean, the isolated Mergui Islands are home to a large number of species as well as an ancient culture of people known as sea gypsies. The Moken people spend the majority of their lives on boats fishing amongst the islands’ coral reef system. In the next 30 years scientists fear that 30% of Asia’s coral reefs will disappear due to global climate change.
• Mississippi River Delta, United States – The Mississippi River Delta serves as an important habitat for many species of birds and aquatic wildlife. The estuary is crucial for the survival of many animals and their young. The barrier islands, which protect the delta have already been seriously compromised by Hurricane Katrina. Scientists predict that strong storms will become more frequent as climate change progresses.
• Kitzbuhel, The Alps, Austria- One of the world’s most well-known winter wonderlands, Kitzbuchel is a skiing enthusiast’s dream come true. However, rising global temperatures are making this snow playground ever more tumultuous, with increased chances of avalanches and falling rocks. If the average global temperature increases just 3 degrees, the snow will be decreased by 80 percent.
• Tuvalu, Pacific Ocean- Located in one of the most isolated parts of the Pacific Ocean, Tuvalu is the fourth smallest nation on the planet. Only 10-square-miles, the island nation is comprised of coral reef islands and lagoons and is home to 12,000 people. Tuvalu has one of the lowest elevations in the world and is at extreme risk of being completely submerged at sometime in the near future.
• The Ganges Delta, India- As the world’s largest delta, the Ganges Delta supports millions of people and agricultural productions. The delta is one of the most fertile regions of the world and is home to animals such as the Bengal tiger and the Indian elephant. Rising sea levels could cause the delta to flood, leaving millions of people starving and homeless as well as destroying a vital habitat for endangered species.
• Wadden Sea, Denmark- This interesting destination was formed over 10,000 years ago at the end of the ice age. Wadden sea consists of a land bridge in a low lying coastal zone. Tourists can walk across the bridge during low tide to a bird sanctuary. As global temperature change causes sea levels to rise, the bridge could become too deep to pass.
• Trinidad, Cuba- Trinidad was founded 500 years ago and is now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This beautiful city is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture. Quite a few endangered animals call this place home, including the Cuban crocodile and the world’s smallest species of frog. Global warming has resulted in an increase of storms to the Caribbean region, putting this historic city at risk for destruction.
• Yangtze River, China- The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and accounts for almost half of China’s agricultural production. Millions of people depend on the river for fresh water and transport. The river is home to many endangered species including the Chinese alligator and Yangtze Sturgeon. Due to the melting of glaciers, the river is slowly shrinking. Scientists predict that glaciers will have shrunk by 60 percent by the end of the 21st century. –Kristen Nipper
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