As the world continues to suffer from detrimental effects of global warming, more and more of our natural wonders are becoming endangered of extinction. When deciding on the perfect destination for your vacation, consider visiting the following nine locations because their days on Earth are numbered.
1. The Maldives
Renowned for being the lowest nation in the world, over 80 percent of the 1,200 islands that make up the picturesque Maldives are less than one meter above sea level. Therefore, it is no surprise that the unique island group is currently endangered by the rising waters of the globe’s oceans. The circumstances have become so dire that the President has announced the federal government will begin purchasing land in other nations for citizens. It is predicted that within one century, the Maldives will cease to exist for human habitation.
2. Great Barrier Reef
Situated off the coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest and inarguably the most breathtaking coral reef in the world. Increased ocean acidification, pollution, cyclones, and hot ocean temperatures are causing massive coral bleaching problems. More than half of the Great Barrier Reef has already disappeared in the last three decades, but the rest of the natural beauty could be lost as soon as 2030.
3. Venice, Italy
Nicknamed as the “City of Water,” Venice has a long history of being one of the most romantic Italian cities for its small canals and beautiful bridges. Today, many people are beginning to question how much time Venice has left, as reports indicate the city is sinking five times faster than once thought. In addition to sinking, rising sea levels and large waves of tourism are causing the situation to become more striking.
As the fourth largest island on the world, Madagascar is home to some of the richest tropical rainforests and most diverse wildlife, like lemurs and mongoose. However, the dense ecosystem has been continually destroyed by poaching, logging, and burning. If actions are not taken to save the island, it is expected that its rainforests and unique inhabitants will vanish in 35 years.
5. The Dead Sea
With 33.7 percent salinity, the Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on the globe and is nearly 8.6 times saltier than oceans. In the last forty years, the large salty lake has shrunk by more than one-third its original size and sunk by 80 feet. Since its only water source comes from the Jordan River, it is expected that the Dead Sea will disappear within another 50 years.
6. Glacier National Park, Montana
Back in the 19th century, Glacier National Park in Montana was packed full of more than 150 glaciers in the stunning 16,000 square miles of protected land. Evidence from the park service in 2010 stated that there are now only 25 active glaciers remaining. Scientists studying the Glacier National Park predict that the current climate patterns could cause all of the glaciers to retreat by 2020 and destroy the plentiful wildlife that depends on its cold climate.
7. Galapagos Islands
Once one of the few isolated islands of pristine natural beauty, the Galapagos Islands have experienced an increase in tourism at 12 percent annually for the last decade. With more hotels and restaurants being constructed, as well as more vehicles clogging the roads and releasing pollution, the islands are quickly declining as one of the natural wonders of Ecuador. Due to human settlement, an estimated five percent of the unique animal species have already faced extinction.
8. Congo Basin
The Congo Basin is home to the world’s second-largest rainforest in the world at more than 1.3 million square miles. The rainforest is responsible for generating 40 percent of the oxygen on Earth, along with vital food, medicine, and minerals for local inhabitants. According to the United Nations though, up to two-thirds of the Congo Basin rainforests could vanish by 2040. Nearly 10 million acres of the forest are lost annually because of mining, farming, illegal logging, and guerilla warfare.
9. Patagonian Ice Fields, Chile
As the largest ice fields in the world after those on Antarctica and Greenland, the Patagonian ice fields in Chile are feeling the effects of global warming and receding at a shockingly fast speed. Scientists have found that up to 90 percent of the mountain glaciers are melting 100 times faster than at any other time in the past three centuries. In just the last five years, dozens of glacier lakes have already virtually disappeared.