One unfortunate truth about the world we live in is that many of our natural wonders are threatened by climate change. Glaciers are melting, coral reefs are dying and floods are destroying habitats. It’s unknown how many of these natural beauties will be around 100 years from now. In the meantime, here are 5 natural places to see before they disappear forever.
Great Barrier Reef
This 133,000-square-mile reef habitat is in deep trouble. Rising water temperatures and pollution have resulted in severe coral bleaching over much of the reef, to the point that this 25-million-year-old wonder is under serious threat of dying altogether.
Glacier National Park
Global warming has reduced the number of glaciers in Montana’s Glacier National Park from 150 to only 39 in the last 100 years. At this rate, all of the glaciers could be gone by the year 2030. It’s not just the glaciers that are in trouble, either. Many animal and plant species depend on the cold glacial water to survive, and when that disappears you can bet that we’ll see dramatic changes in flora and fauna numbers as well.
This gorgeous Italian vacation destination is under serious threat of permanently flooding. In the last 100 years, the city has gone from averaging 10 floods each year to more than 50. Some floods in recent years put the city under 4 feet of water. Rising sea levels are the culprit, and it’s hard to say just how long we have before the city is permanently under water.
The Sahara Desert
Unlike the other examples in this article, this is one natural wonder that’s growing, not shrinking. But that’s a bad thing. The Sahara is the largest non-polar desert in the world, and it’s growing at a rate of half a mile per month. Eventually, it could consume all of North Africa, and who knows what effect that will have on the rest of the world.
This vast area of untouched wonder is a favorite destination for climbers and adventurers, but rising temperatures have caused most of the 50 glaciers that make up the area to steadily melt. This spells trouble for animals, plants and people as Patagonia represents the third-largest source of fresh water on the planet.