We may think over it or choose to ignore it completely, the Earth is in danger. Does not matter whether we blame it on global warming, uncontrollable blast of human population, air pollution, so-called modernization, rising sea levels, greenhouse affect, deforestation – the bottom line is the undeniable fact that our planet is getting hurt in many irreversible ways. Landscapes are changing, islands are shrinking, national parks are shriveling, glaciers are evaporating, rain-forests are dying out, hundreds of plants and animal species are getting extinct day by day. Here are some of those stunning places which you should visit before they disappear from the face of the Earth, and more importantly, do something about them.
Greenland’s ice sheet is one of the largest contributors to sea level rise around the globe, and the country experienced its highest average summer temperature on record and an early melt last year. You can see calving glaciers, giant icebergs.
A study released this year shows that 75 percent of primate species have shrinking populations and 60 percent are threatened with extinction, with their decline being attributed to hunting, farming, ranching, logging, mining and oil drilling. Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas, as well as chimpanzees and golden monkeys, on a trek in the forests of Rwanda.
Major ices shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula have broken apart, retreated or lost volume in recent decades, and the trend continues today with a crack in the Larsen C shelf growing this year. All the arctic species are in grave danger, and many of them are already extinct.
As the city of canals, gondolas and hundreds of bridges, Venice, one of the most beautiful places on the planet, is known for its waterways. But, as it turns out, the water could be exactly what is ruining the historic and one of the most romantic cities in the world. Venice has been sinking for centuries, but some evidence suggests the process is speeding up—possibly even sinking five times as fast as previously thought.
In addition to global warming and air pollution, tourism and overuse is killing the beautiful biodiverse islands. With an extremely unique and diverse wildlife population, a dive into the waters of the Galapagos offers the chance to encounter several species of sharks. But the rise in ocean temperatures has caused loss of species, reef die-offs and algae blooms. Ecuador has been getting ready to build a “penguin condos” island and to impose restrictions on tourism.
The iconic European Alps are beloved by snow sports enthusiasts, but climate change is bringing challenges for the mountain range. Alpine glaciers are retreating and temperatures are increasing at an alarming rate, according to the European Environment Agency. The Alps are at a lower altitude than many other mountains which is why these changes are so worrying.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is Australia’s natural wonder. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space. It is set off Australia’s east coast and sprawls out over 133,000 square miles. The lavishness of the reef’s marine life is being hurt by climate change, according to theWorldWildlife.org
. Sediment, nutrient and pesticide pollution have increased. Urban and industrial developments continue; illegal fishing is hurting the ecosystem. By some estimates the reef could be irreparably changed in the next 20 years.
Lake Baikal, Russia
Russia’s Lake Baikal, one of the most spectacular on the planet, holds about 20 percent of the world’s unfrozen freshwater – making it the largest freshwater lake by volume – but it faces threats from pollution and hydroelectric projects.
Research published last year showed that rising sea levels resulted in the disappearance of five of the Solomon Islands, while erosion on others has forced the relocation of beautiful villages.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is famous for its salinity that makes swimmers especially buoyant. You should go on a trip there while you still can because it is on the verge of extinction. The sea that is said to have healing properties has been losing more than three feet per year, because neighboring countries are taking from the River Jordan, which is the Dead Sea’s only major water source. The sea has lost a third of its water already and there is no solution in sight.
The list of the places that are on the verge of extinction unfortunately does not end here. Few of others include Kiribati Islands, Glacier National Park Montana, Borneo rainforest, Tropical Andes, The Himalayas, Madagascar and many more.
You don’t have to be an environmentalist to appreciate the beauty and value of these places. Across the globe, changes in climate, human interaction, and other environmental factors are altering the natural habitats that created these havens of biodiversity and wonder. You should visit these places before they are just gone from the face of the planet. As after few years these will only survive in photographs and textbooks.
And do something about them, to help protect these endangered places and their inhabitants.