Places to See Before They Disappear

Steven Hughes, Writer

The world is changing, in a lot of ways. We have grown in science and medicine, created a virtual web of seemingly endless information, and gone pretty far in terms of eliminating a lot of injustice. However, there is still a long way to go, and in some cases it’s too late.

Last year, many heard the declaration that the polar ice losses due to climate change were too far gone to be stopped. This is only the beginning, many places are in threat of total destruction if mankind doesn’t begin to face this problem head-on now. Here’s a few (of many) examples of places you should see soon if you want to see them at all.

  1. Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park is the U.S.A.’s tenth nationally protected park. It was reserved by the government in 1910, and has been a world-renowned tourist destination, and an amazing reminder of North America’s natural beauty. But in the last few decades, with the warmest years on record, Glacier National Park has gone from an estimated 150 sheets of ice and glacier, to less than 25. And in 30 years, the rest may very well have vanished altogether.

  1. Great Barrier Reef, Coast of Australia

It’s one of the most stupendous natural structures on earth, and is easily visible from space. Despite this size however, it is rapidly falling to the adverse effects of pollution and climate change. More and more of the coral making up this natural wonder is becoming “bleached,” a term referring to the white color it develops when it dies, losing all it’s pigment. Why is the coral bleaching as a result of climate change? Not only will it’s loss be a blow to humanity, but a greater blow to all the roughly 1,500 of species that call it home.

  1. Island Nation of Maldives

Maldives is the lowest lying country in the world, and is predominantly built upon coral reefs rather than sand. It’s clear waters and weather are incredible. Not only that, but it is a real exhibit of human ingenuity and durability given it’s intuitively precarious location. Now, given their extremely low altitude, it won’t take too big a rise in sea levels to wreak havoc on the 300,000+ citizens and submerge an entire nation.

  1. The Dead Sea

The land between Israel and Jordan is home to the world’s saltiest lake. It is also the lowest elevation on Earth’s landmasses. Now, the Dead Sea is not going to disappear entirely. Throughout time, the lake has seen massive fluctuations in size, almost drying up entirely about 100,000 years ago. However, this is getting a boost from human-related interference. Since the 1950s, the sea’s water levels have already dropped roughly 131 ft. If you want to experience the wonders of floating across salt-saturated water, get over there where there while there’s still space.

  1. Venice, Italy

Last and certainly not least,Venice is the casualty everybody knows about. Somewhat recently discovered data revealed that naturally, Venice is sinking about 0.04 inches a year, along with 0.39 inches annually due to human-related interference. This may not sound very significant, but with yearly flood seasons already putting residents almost knee deep in the waters of the Adriatic Sea, this city is well on it’s way to becoming the second Atlantis.

Nothing is permanent, and no place can stand forever. In a way, part of what makes these places so amazing is the fact that they’ve lasted this long! But we don’t need to help these marvels disappear. The losses we are posed to endure should be a higher priority than many other “pressing” problems, if for no other reason than to make sure we have a place to make problems for ourselves.