Hottest years on record, storm surges never seen before, Antarctica breaking apart iceberg by iceberg, hurricanes that practically wipe out coastal cities — these and other climate events are shocking communities around the world, and will likely only become worse as global temperatures continue to rise.
The vast majority of climate scientists agree the Earth’s warming is mainly due to man-made sources of greenhouse gases. Human activities over the last century, such as burning fossil fuels, have led to an increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. They trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to warmer temperatures globally.
Warmer temperatures result in warmer oceans and melting ice. The former could lead to increasingly more severe and more frequent storms; the latter causes rising sea levels which pose an immediate threat on low-lying communities – and some are actively making plans to relocate to higher grounds.
Higher temperatures lead to more evaporation, which means there is more water for rainfall. For every degree increase, the atmosphere can hold around 4% more water vapor, which leads to heavier rain, increasing the risk of flooding.
Many countries are trying to come up with a way to curb global warming. The current goal is to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Since the late 19th century, especially in the last 35 years, the global temperature has increased by about 0.9 degree Celsius. The five warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010.
The effects of climate change are putting some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations at risk of disappearing or, at the very least, losing the very biodiversity that attracts visitors to many in the first place.
To compile a list of 28 tourist attractions that are being significantly affected by climate change, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed dozens of reports by groups such as the Urban Climate Change Research Network, NASA, the National Climate Assessment, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Global Change Research Program.