Eight amazing places to visit before they vanish

Some of the world’s most beautiful places won’t be here for long.

Places to visit before they vanish

The world is full of natural wonders, but some of the most beautiful are at risk due to the damage being done by climate change.

Some sites have already gone past the tipping point, and rising sea levels threaten entire countries and islands. We have picked out eight of the most beautiful locations around the globe that, unfortunately, might not be around for too much longer.

1. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on Earth, and even visible from outer space. Unless you have been living under a rock, you would also know that it is suffering from devastating coral bleaching thanks to climate change. The 2300km-long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of more than 600 types of hard and soft coral. It is home to countless species of colourful fish, molluscs and starfish, plus turtles, dolphins and sharks. This World Heritage listed site is right on our doorstep and if you have never seen it before, you should make the journey soon.

2. Glacier National Park
This stunning US national park in Montana was once home to more than 150 glaciers. Today there are fewer than 25 and, according to current climate change predictions, those remaining could be completely gone as early as 2030. The area is home to grizzly bears, mountain goats, lynxes and wolverines, all of which will be under threat as the ecosystem continues to undergo significant changes.

3. The Alps
The highest and most extensive mountain range in Europe, the Alps stretch about 1200km across eight countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia, Liechtenstein and Monaco). Temperatures in the Alps have risen by just under 2°C over the past 120 years, almost twice as much as the global average, and they are set to rise even more. Researchers are predicting a further 2°C increase over the next 40 years. Around three per cent of Alpine glacial ice is lost per year, and experts believe that the glaciers could disappear entirely by 2050.

4. The Dead Sea
Despite its name, The Dead Sea is actually a very salty lake bordered by Jordan, Israel and Palestine. It is thought the Dead Sea was one of the world’s first health resorts, used by Herod the Great in Roman times. The healing properties of the salt and minerals from the area are still used to this very day. The Dead Sea isn’t so much at risk from climate change, but rather selfishness and a lack of governance. In the past 40 years, the lake has shrunk by over a third of its original size due to neighbouring countries drawing water from the River Jordan (the lake’s only inflow). Experts predict that unless this changes it could disappear entirely in 50 years. The decline of the Dead Sea level is creating major problems, including sink holes, receding sea shores and other effects on the environment. The Jordanian Government is taking steps to address the damage with a proposal to make a canal between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea.

5. Seychelles
The Seychelles consists of about 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Kenya – and is so beautiful that it has been compared to the Garden of Eden. The coral in the area, once famous around the world, has already experienced significant damage thanks to the impact of climate change, and rising sea levels will put most of the archipelago under water in 50 to 100 years. This is terrible for tourists, but it’s worse for the population of 90,000 who call these islands home.

6. Venice, Italy
The romantic canals of the historic city of Venice are slowly bringing about its downfall as the city continues to sink and sea levels continue to rise. The latest report on sea level rises suggests that Venice will be uninhabitable by the end of the century. The ancient and iconic city will be flooded because the Mediterranean Sea is forecast to rise by up to 140cm before 2100, according to the research.

7. Maldives
The average elevation of the Maldives is just 1.5m above sea level, leaving it precariously placed. Its beaches, blue lagoons and extensive reefs are very popular with tourists, but the threat from rising sea levels is so real that the Government has already started buying land in other countries for citizens who face displacement in the near future.

8. Athabasca Glacier
The most visited glacier in Canada has slowly been melting for the past 125 years, with the southern edge retreating more than 1.5km over that time. The rate at which the glacier has been melting, though, has increased significantly in recent years and it is currently losing anywhere between two to three metres per year. There are five other glaciers that make up the Colombia Icefield in the Canadian Rockies, but none are quite as accessible or as spectacular as the Athabasca Glacier.

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    COMMENTS

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    PlanB
    3rd Sep 2018
    10:32am
    Yes this breaks my heart we have wrecked this wonderful planet with the love of money and I really can not see a way to fix it as no matter what dangers we are made aware off NOTHING is happening!
    DLJD
    3rd Sep 2018
    11:26am
    The death of the GBR has been greatly exaggerated (to paraphrase Mark Twain). There are huge stretchs of unaffected reef and no reef in the world is so well studied or well funded. Yes climate change has impacted but so has agricultural runoff, COT, cyclones, overfishing and tourism impacts
    PlanB
    3rd Sep 2018
    11:51am
    It is more to do with coal and other runoff than climate change -- and NO ship such as are allowed should be anywhere NEAR the reef
    Migrant
    3rd Sep 2018
    12:18pm
    This is all part of a long term climate change.
    I look forward to Greenland being green again,and growing grapes in Scotland, and in the following cycle to lake mungo being a lake again.
    If the Chinese can"save"the sand islands in the South China Sea , then surely the West can save the Maldives and the Seychelles, if they wish, or if the islands are strategic enough.
    Migrant
    KB
    3rd Sep 2018
    12:57pm
    The government banning ADANI from coal mining the Great Barrier Reef would be a good start. As individuals we can still help. Stop using straws .Reducing plastic in our lives when we go shopping Plastic ends up in the ocean, Taking a plastic out when we go out to pick up rubbish particularly on beaches were people carelessly litter,
    PlanB
    3rd Sep 2018
    2:15pm
    Yes KB you are right I am very on the ball with all that stuff -- and do the right thing not many do though --

    How the hell can they even THINK of the Adani mine and promise UNLIMITED water for 60+ years is beyond me! If that goes ahead those that allow it needs to be hung!
    TinTin
    8th Sep 2018
    10:38am
    Totally agree KB, I for one have been bombarding FaceBook for a couple of years with meme's about the destructive nature of Adani who is the typical megalomaniac, interested in one thing only, money for himself and stuff our environment and everybody else. He and the Liberal government are now trying to change the land entitlements of the Aboriginal owners FFS.
    floss
    3rd Sep 2018
    4:07pm
    Crazy ,in Australia we can avoid a lot of our environmental problems just by stopping immigration.Australia will be the country most effected by climate change and water shortages, more people more water usage so simple.
    Greg
    5th Sep 2018
    5:21pm
    Having an increase in population because of immigration amounts to 0.8% per year - a negligible amount of extra water usage.
    Arisaid
    3rd Sep 2018
    10:02pm
    Well,the GBR is not dying. In fact there is a lot of regeneration going on. However, stop Adani. How they can have unlimited water, Australia's most precious resource is beyond me. How they can let Cubby station have so much water is beyond me. Why are we growing cotton in Australia. Cotton needs heaps of water and we simply don't have it. Stop that, stop the overuse of plastics, balloons etc. Cyclones have done enormous damage over the years, but surprisingly the reef has 'weathered' them quite well.
    PlanB
    4th Sep 2018
    9:12am
    This man-made climate change is a money-making load of ---- the climate has been changing since time began -- yes us humans are not helping with what we selfishly do but it all started with that Al Gore -- would anyone trust him -- why does everyone follow the bloody leader -- and not think for themselves!

    Nothing is changing with this rotten plastic -- nothing has changed and there is NO less of it either -- and most don't seem to give a hoot


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