We can no longer take the world for granted as it becomes increasingly threatened by the forces of global warming and climate change. Whether or not it’s due to human causes, the fact remains that many of our natural and man-made icons may not be with us for much longer.
These disappearing destinations should definitely be at the top of your bucket list before they are lost forever!
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is considered one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. Stretching over 2,000 kilometers along the Queensland coast, it offers fantastic motley of aqua colored ocean, giving snorkelers an intimate view of the world’s largest coral reef. However, rising water temperatures, over-fishing and oil are expected to change this amazing national treasure forever and may see the already bleached coral reef’s dying out in the next four decades.
Piazza San Marco is one of the most picturesque squares in the world, bordered by marble columns and inhabited by plenty of pushy pigeons. The square exists not far above sea level and during the Acqua Alta (“high water”) from storm surges or heavy rain, it regularly floods. At least for the moment the water is winning, with a total of 100 flood days a year but extensive structural work is occurring to avoid damage to St Mark’s Basilica.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
This volcanic mountain is the largest in Africa and is instantly recognizable because of its white, snow covered top. Since the early 20th century 80% of the ice cover on the mountain has disappeared; most of which has occurred in the last 10 years. At current rates the mountain is predicted to become ice-free between 2022 and 2033.
Europe’s winter wonderland and one of the most popular skiing destinations in the world – Sharing eight countries, the Alpine region contains many peaks higher than 4,000 metres. Climate change has been projected to increase temperatures which will affect snowfall and has meant that many ski resorts have had to produce their own snow and even resort to covering the slopes in specially designed blankets to preserve the ice.
Maldives, Indian Ocean
Scattered across the Indian Ocean, most of the hundreds of islands (200 or which are inhabited) are elevated less than a metre about sea level. Melting ice caps, rising sea levels and increasing storms have already seen 14 islands be abandoned because of erosion by the sea. A continued number of islands are expected to continue in the decades to come.
This beautiful national park located in Florida, is the largest sub-tropical wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi River. Hosting a variety of rare, endangered species, astounding water habitats and mangroves, this landmark has made several appearances on the World Heritage list. Years of draining and construction have played a significant role in reducing the water flow to this aquatic ecosystem and water pollution is contributing to the decline of marine life.
As you build your travel bucket list, include these amazing treasures on your list; and as you pack and get ready for your next adventure it is worth finding cheap travel insurance to give you peace of mind as you travel. Finally when visiting these sites remember to travel responsibly and respectfully – our actions in these areas will play a role in preserving our amazing wonders.