10 places to see before they are gone forever (pt 02)
Picking up from where we left in the first part of our article, we continue to list out natural wonders of the world that we will lose in the near future in the absence of proper intervention.
- The Dead Sea
Most of us know that the Dead Sea is the world’s saltiest body of water and is ten times more salty than the ocean. What most of us don’t know is that the water level of the Black sea has been dropping steadily by about four feet every year now. In the last forty years, the Black Sea has shrunk by about one third of its original size. The once beach front resorts are now miles away from the actual beach. The major reason for this water level drop is the ever growing pressure on its sole water source, the Jordan River, from the population of surrounding countries. It is believed that the Dead Sea will disappear completely in the next fifty years.
Venice has been sinking for quite a long time but the rising sea levels have made the situation more dramatic. Both the frequency and severity of floods have been consistently rising over the years. In 1900s the occurrence of yearly floods was less than ten which have since risen to more than sixty in the 2000s. With sea levels rising 4-6 mm every year, things are getting worse. It has already sunk by nine inch in the last hundred years and is expected to remain for less than seventy years.
- Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the only living thing on Earth visible from space. It is the world’s largest coral reef, covering a massive area of 347,800 square kilometers that has formed over 8000 years. The reef contains over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays of 350 different species. Rising ocean temperatures, ocean acidification and water pollution as well as cyclones have been continually destroying the reef. It is estimated that 60% of world’s carol reefs will be lost by 2030, along with a big part of Great Barrier Reef.
- The Maldives
The smallest Asian nation is a group of 1,200 islands and these islands are sinking. 80% of land in the Maldives are less than a meter above sea level and are in great danger of sinking faster than expected due to rising sea levels. The situation is so dire that in 2008, the President announced that the government would start buying land in other countries like India to house displaced population in the near future.
- Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands have a special place in the hearts of all naturalists from Charles Darwin to Sir David Attenborough. There are about 9000 different species living in and around Galapagos Island, three fourth of which are found nowhere else on earth. The natural habitats of these once isolated islands are now slowly turned into hotels and parking spaces to accommodate the aggressively growing tourism industry. Cruise ships have brought in rats into the island which are to contributing to the decline of the Galapagos.