You want to visit surreal and amazing places? Here's a list of 6 of them you need to visit before they vanish because of climate change.
Have you heard about the 5 Samoa islands that disappeared under the waters a couple of months ago? Or the term of climate refugee?
Well you will be hearing more and more about these occurrences in the years to come. The most optimistic ones envision a global temperature increase of 3°C in 50 years from now, and the most pessimistic ones predict 6°C – all of this doesn’t sound too jolly, does it.
Actually, global warming isn’t uniform and certain regions will experience extremely cold periods followed by unbearable heat waves, while others will be faced with devastating torrential rains or destructive draughts that will exacerbate desertification.
Sure, the planet has already survived ALL of these natural phenomena and life has learnt how to adapt that’s the beauty of it: cells adapt, learn and evolve with their environment. The problem with the current climate modification is that it is extremely fast and unfortunately the majority of living species won’t be able to adapt to this rapid rhythm.
An example would be corals. It is often believed that corals are extremely fragile and sensitive to the slightest water temperature variation. It is indeed the case. However, periods of geological history show that oceans have already been more acidic, warmer or more agitated. And corals have been around for more than 500 million years. They have therefore known how to adapt and survive in different climate conditions that have taken place one after the other since their first appearance till present times due to their own evolution capabilities.
While it took life (flora & fauna) thousands to millions of years to exist and flourish, it took mankind only 100 years (or even less) to destroy a big part of it. Did you know that every 13 minutes an animal species goes extinct? And the overall estimation is that 40% of animal species is threatened. This number varies of course depending on species obviously, however soon enough the Zoo will be the only place to see a whale shark. Same situation for rhinoceros. And we are all well aware that zoos are far from being animals’ paradise.
We have to unfortunately accept that the so-called “Millennials” generation will definitely have to live on a planet in full transition, a dying and instable planet. We alone are the only ones capable of helping it by becoming more responsible and consuming less and in a better manner.
The Arctic D-1460 (4 years)
This is not really a surprise anymore. But the Arctic deserves a special mention. Did you know that underneath icebergs an extremely flourishing marine life exists – one that many ecosystems depend on? Polar bears, sea lions, white seagulls and all the other animals will most certainly disappear from the wild and will have to be content with a lifetime of being locked up in cages in the zoos. But a whole lifecycle that will impact us directly shall disappear as well. The whales’ migration, already disrupted by global warming, the ocean currents and strong winds, the disappearance of thousands of animal species…all of this will take place sooner rather than later.
Denis and I dream of going to see the icebergs in the polar region before they disappear, but the “touristic” expeditions are extremely expensive…Too expensive for us for now, however it’s a dream that I intend to fulfill before this unique place, whose formation has taken millions of years, disappears. The majestic appearance of this spot doesn’t make you dream? Our children won’t even have the choice to go there…
2. The Australian Great Barrier Reef D-3650 (10 years)
Corals are struggling to survive in a much warmer ocean. Indeed, the oceans capturing more carbon by warming up, end up more acidic (which means that the proportion of carbon dioxide becomes more signification in relation to oxygen). 93% of the coral reef has already bleached.
Coral bleaching essentially means they die – what are then the consequences for us? Well, one of the richest and most diverse bio systems in the world is about to disappear. Since life is cyclical, oceans will become poorer and a lot of marine species will become extinct.
“A child born today will never have the chance to see the Great Barrier Reef” states an expert from the ARCCSS (Australian climate research centre)
3. Greenland (glaciers and snow) D-10960 (30-40 years)
Greenland has also heavily suffered from climate changes. The melting of the ice cap is fast (100 billion tons of ice disappear annually) which contributes to the rise of ocean levels. Greenland represents the second most important source of iced water. Apart from the disappearance of polar bears, what is dramatic for Greenland is the economic and social upheaval that is set in motion by this rapid warming. Lifestyles are changing and a lot of indigenous people (the Inuit) will have to adapt. Humans will be able to adapt either way, certain species, however, will not be just as fortunate.
4. The Glacier National Park Montana D-5110 (approximately 15 years)
The glaciers in the Montana National Park have already started to melt. More than twenty have transformed into water and the future predictions are vital. By 2030, no more glaciers in the National Park of Montana. The consequences? Changes in the water temperatures, in salmon and trout reproduction, and throughout the region’s ecosystem.
5. The following islands: Solomon, Fiji and Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles and the Maldives between D-1,825 and J-27,100 (between 5 to 75 years)
Certain islands have already disappeared in the Pacific Ocean and this is only the beginning, Your lifelong dream is having your own island? Well, think about it properly as the islands of Solomon, Fiji, Kiribati and many more, inhabited or not, are the first ones threatened by global warming. So many heavenly places will be under water taking with them endemic species and their incredible landscapes…You’ve never been? Buy a ticket and go today!
The first ones in danger? The Kiribati islands – the president purchased 2000 hectares to relocate the 110,000 island inhabitants. 32 small islands have already disappeared.
The ones to follow are the Carteret islands in Papua New Guinea. By 2020, these islands will have disappeared.
The Seychelles come after that, since experts say that by 2050 90% of them will have been conquered by water…
The Maldives follow in closely as by 2090 80% will be under water. Finally, Fiji and Solomon, as well as Tuamotu in French Polynesia whose islands will be engulfed by water by the end of the century. This disappearance will be progressive, the lowest islands first – Fiji and Solomon comprise hundreds of islands…
6. The ice fields in Patagonia D-18250 (36 years)
The melting of the ice fields of North Patagonia is contributing to the rise of ocean level by 25%!!! Ice melts there faster than anywhere else. While it provides ice to the Argentinean glacier, the famous Perito Moreno, the glace field in the South of Patagonia is threatened as well. Its disappearance is predicted in the next 50 years approximately.
Global warming will have significant impact on Siberia as well, landscapes are going to be modified and will become drier and hotter, releasing large clouds of methane trapped for now in the permafrost. Norway and Sweden will suffer as well these changes, especially in the fragile regions of Lapland or the Glaciers. The wind will blow much, much harder, in the same way in all Nordic countries. Bolivia is already paying the consequences of global warming with the disappearance of the second largest lake in the country.
So go explore these places about to become a memory, write and tell stories about them, take pictures. Maybe this will awaken collective conscience – things won’t improve tomorrow if we do nothing at all.
Translation & Copy Editing by Liana Marinoiu
Cet article est disponible en Français (French)