Special Report

Attractions That Are Being Destroyed by Climate Change

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Miami, Florida

Miami is “ground zero” for climate change and rising sea levels. Some residents are already elevating their seawalls by a few feet to protect their homes. Much of Miami will be under rising Atlantic waters by the end of the century.

A more immediate threat, also as a result of global warming, is keeping drinking water safe. The city’s aquifer can be easily contaminated due to frequent floods and other climate problems, such as last year’s toxic algae blooms.

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Bali, Indonesia

Wet seasons are getting wetter and longer and dry seasons are getting drier. A 2007 study found that rainfall on the island will increase by approximately 10% in summer months by 2050, but will decrease by 75% in the dry season. The dry season, which is when most people prefer to travel to Bali, will be hotter and more polluted due to smog from large urban areas and forest fires.

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Uganda, one of two places where you can see gorillas in their natural habitat, is at risk of more frequent heavy rains, flooding, landslides, drought, and heatwaves. Climate change will have a tremendous effect on coffee production, the most valuable industry in the country. Warmer temperatures and longer droughts will damage coffee trees and expose them to harmful pests and diseases. Water scarcity as a result of higher temperatures can also lead to conflict and loss of plant and animal life.

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In 2017, Kiribati declared that global warming is literally killing it. The nation, which consists of 33 islands that are about 6 feet above sea level, may actually become the first to be completely destroyed by global warming. Rising sea levels have already swallowed masses of coastline. The country, which is home to about 100,000 people, is expected to become uninhabitable long before it’s completely underwater.

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Washington, D.C.

Seasons have all become warmer since the 1940s, and it’s only getting worse. Warmer temperatures lead to more severe droughts as well as floods. Rainfall from heavy storms has gone up by over 25% across the eastern United States since the mid-1950s. Extreme floods will significantly damage many buildings and infrastructure. By 2100 the White House may be a beach house. The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore has already lost more than 5,000 acres of wetlands since the 1940s due to sea-level rise. Water levels in the Potomac and Anacostia rivers are up 11 inches over the last century.

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