10 endangered natural wonders
Humanity continues to cut down forests, dry up rivers and pollute nature. This, combined with global warming, is leading to irreversible changes in the face of the planet. By the end of the century, or even in the middle of it, we will be missing many of the natural wonders that are still relatively easy to access. Therefore, it is worth making sure to see them before it is too late.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The legendary Australian ecosystem, comparable in size to the Land of the Rising Sun, may disappear by 2030. Scientists in Australia have concluded that a warming of the ocean waters by just 3 to 5 degrees, combined with an increase in their acidity, would quickly destroy 97% of the reef along with all of its inhabitants. In addition, commercial fishing is still allowed in the area, which also does not help the ecological balance. Australian researchers have made an appeal to tourists, which offers to study underwater fauna not in the restaurant on his plate, sprinkled with lemon juice, and diving. Lovers of seafood is useful to know that for every kilogram of mussels and oysters on the table from one to ten pounds of rotten in the process of storage and transportation of sea creatures.
Glacier National Park, Montana, USA
In 1850 there were 150 glaciers in what is now the park; now only 26 remain. Scientists say that at this rate the unique nature reserve will cease to exist by 2025. Angry tongues say it’s time to rename the park “Glacier Memorial Park.” In addition to melting glaciers, warming is causing problems for the flora and fauna of the area. The early spring causes plants to bloom earlier and not always in time to be pollinated by insects, which in the absence of sustenance begin to reproduce less well. This, in turn, affects the birds, which by the time of nesting also find themselves without enough food. Therefore, before it’s too late, tourists tend to ride a bicycle on the legendary “Road to the Sun” and rafting on the Flathead River.
The Maldives is the lowest-lying country on Earth: the highest point of the archipelago, consisting of 1192 islands, is only 2.4 meters above sea level, and therefore, global warming for the country is extremely dangerous. If the global ocean level rises just one meter, the state will cease to exist. So far, scientists predict that by the end of the century, the water level will rise by 59 cm, which is already fatal for many Maldivian islands. So that the local population is not turned into environmental refugees, the president of the country Mohamed Nasheed decided to direct part of the income from tourism to purchase land in India, Sri Lanka and Australia, so that fellow citizens had somewhere to go in case of flooding.
Glacier on Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
The snow cap atop Africa’s highest mountain is gradually melting. Since Hemingway wrote the famous “Snows of Kilimanjaro” in 1936, the glacier has shrunk by 80%. Another problem of the mountain is the huge number of tourists, who year after year pollute it more and more. Despite the rather high “environmental tax” of about $1,000 per week of climbing, a variety of trash on the slopes is everywhere. So if you have a dream of seeing untouched nature and conquering a glacier, you should hurry.
Meteorologist from Jakarta, Armu Susandi, analyzing many years of weather data, has concluded that by 2080, the idyllic archipelago will lose 2 thousand islands and 60 thousand square kilometers of land. In this case, the island of Papua will shrink at least by 10%, and Java and Sumatra islands – by 5% each. Indonesian meteorologist also predicts that by 2050 at least a quarter of Jakarta, including its international airport, will go under water. The reason for these unpleasant events is not only global warming, but also the uncontrolled mining of minerals and sand, which is required in huge quantities to support the ever-growing construction boom. So far, about 20 islands have been simply torn down by overzealous builders.
The glacier of the Antarctic Peninsula is disappearing at a rapid rate, having shrunk by 40 percent in recent years. Some scientists believe that the process that began in 2002, when a huge chunk the size of Rhode Island broke away from the glacier, can no longer be stopped. The chunk that broke away has kept other ice shelves from sliding into the ocean, which are now unhindered. And their destruction, in turn, will contribute to rising water levels and even more melting of the remaining ones. Thus, there is a high probability that in 20-40 years, there will be no ice on the peninsula at all. Moreover, the ice is a breeding ground for krill, which are fed by local seals, whales and penguins, whose population has already been reduced by 70%.
The Swiss Alps
Summer in the Alps no longer sees the remnants of winter snow, which is necessary to grow or at least keep the glaciers stable. Thus, there is virtually no chance of preserving the Rhone Glacier, which, in turn, feeds the river of the same name that flows into Lake Geneva. Whereas in the past tourists could go straight out of their hotel doors to find themselves on the glacier and explore its caves, it is now necessary to walk many kilometers to get to it. So with the idea of going to Geneva and admire the local lake is worth hurrying.
Mangroves, India, Bangladesh
The Sundarbans, a 1,500 kilometer swampy reedbed maze at the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna, is home to many rare animals, birds and fish. Here you can still find the rarest Indian tiger and such strange creatures as tree-climbing fish. Alas, it is also home to some two million people, whose economic activities will make three-quarters of the mangroves disappear forever by the end of the century.
Dead Sea, Israel, Jordan
The likelihood that the Dead Sea will repeat the fate of the Aral Sea is increasing. According to Israeli ecologists, over the past 40 years the sea level has dropped by 25 meters, and its surface area has shrunk by a third. Such a result has been achieved by the joint efforts of the three countries: Israel, Syria and Jordan, which actively use the waters of the rivers that feed the sea for irrigation and household needs. As a result, the hotels built in the 1980s at the water’s edge are now about a kilometer from the shore.
Like the Earth’s southern cap, the northern one is also melting at a rapid pace. Some scientists say that by 2070, most of the Arctic water surface will be ice-free in summer. According to studies, the average annual temperature here is rising twice as fast as in the rest of the world. Already now Canada, the USA, Denmark, Norway and Russia have started a struggle for spheres of influence, trying to get the maximum benefit from the soon appearance of new trade routes. In all likelihood, in a few decades there will be a new tourist product called “To the North Pole on water skis.
10 disappearing wonders of the planet
Tourist portal Budget Travel has compiled a list of ten wonders of the world that may disappear by 2030. They predict that the soon disappearance will attract to these places an influx of tourists. People irresponsibly waste resources and gifts of the Earth, thus destroying all the beautiful things it gives us. At this rate, there will be no more wonders or beauties to admire on the planet.
Belize Barrier Reef
The Belize Barrier Reef was already severely damaged in 1998, losing up to 50% of its corals in many places. Its corals are still bleaching, both because of global warming and human activities.
The Congo Basin is the second largest jungle massif after the Amazon. By 2040, up to two-thirds of the unique flora and fauna, according to the UN, will be lost if effective measures to protect them are not taken. Forests are being ruthlessly cleared for grazing, mining, and guerrilla warfare in this region of Africa. The shrinking of the forest surface area results in less carbon dioxide absorption and thus less rainfall, which contributes to climate change.
Over the past four decades its area has shrunk by a third, and it has shallowed by 24 meters. The former beaches are now a mile and a half farther from the shoreline. The Dead Sea gets its water only from the Jordan River, but the surrounding countries are taking more and more water from the river. As a result, in 50 years there will be no Dead Sea at all. Especially as cosmetics and potassium carbon dioxide manufacturers continually deplete the mineral reserves of the seabed.
Everglades National Park (Florida, USA)
The wetlands, which occupy the bulk of its territory, are subject to pollution from surrounding farms as well as invasion by alien wildlife. Not to mention that 60% of the local water is pumped out to supply nearby towns and farms. As a result, the area of the park, the only place the Florida panther lives, has already been cut in half since 1900. Within 40 years, the Florida panther, along with 20 other species, could be completely extinct.
If the forests of this African island nation are not saved, in 35 years they will be completely cut down and scorched, and their inhabitants will be extinct. Protected areas cover only 5% of the island, preventing animals from moving safely throughout Madagascar. Some of the island’s rare animal species have not even been studied and recorded, and will probably be extinct before they can be explored.
If global warming continues, these islands, which rise only a little over two meters above sea level, will be flooded. In 2008, the president of the state had already announced the purchase of land in other countries, notably India, to resettle citizens who had been forced to leave their homelands inundated by the ocean. In 2009, to emphasize the impending danger, he held a government meeting underwater.
North and South Poles.
Global warming threatens the extinction of 80% of Antarctica’s emperor penguins. In the Arctic, polar bears are at risk of extinction because the melting of polar ice is wiping out entire ecosystems, including food chains. New ice masses will cease to form in Antarctica within 20-40 years.
More than half of the world’s tigers live in India. A total of 3,200 remain in the wild in the world, compared to 100,000 in India alone in 1900. Tigers could be completely extinct in as little as 12 years. For the needs of Chinese traditional medicine, an average of one tiger per day is killed. There are sanctuaries for tigers, but they do not provide reliable migration routes for females, which are necessary for the full reproduction of the population.
Tahuamanu Jungle (Peru)
The Peruvian province of Madre de Dios is home to some of the world’s last reserves of mahogany. And it grows in the jungle of Tahuamanu. But because of illegal logging, they are dwindling. The U.S. buys about 80% of mahogany. After all, each tree can be used to make a million dollars worth of furniture. Loggers build roads that allow farmers and hunters to enter the jungle, which in turn bothers the indigenous people and destroys the ecosystem. In addition, the gold mining that takes place in neighboring areas leads to mercury pollution in the air and water
Yangtze River Basin
Many observers, including Chinese officials, have already acknowledged that most of the flora and fauna species inhabiting this natural region are in danger of extinction. Deforestation, construction of dams, and the formation of reservoirs are to blame. There is also the danger of earthquakes. Tourist flows can have a twofold impact on nature: on the one hand, they obviously worsen the ecological state of the unique places of the Earth, only speeding up their destruction. On the other hand, local authorities can spend the revenues from tourism on measures to preserve the wonders of nature.