The sparkling waters, brilliantly white sand and magnificent blue sky of the Maldives makes the nation the epitome of paradise, but maybe not for too much longer. Made up of 1,190 islands and nestled in the Indian ocean, the Maldives is in danger of being the first nation to be swamped due to rising sea levels from climate change. Known as the world’s lowest nation, 80% of all islands are no more than 1 meter above sea level. Rising waters are already endangering some beaches, which they fear may soon render them inhospitable.
Besides its religious significance, at 1,338 feet below sea level, Israel’s Dead Sea is also the lowest spot on earth, as well as a natural health spa, making it one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Middle East. But due to its shrinking water source, there is fear that the Dead Sea may soon live up to its name. In the past 40 years, the sea has shrunk one-third its size. With its sole source, the Jordan River, being diverted more and more for agriculture and water, the Dead Sea is estimated to be shrinking year feet each year and could be gone in less than 50 years.
Flooding is so commonplace in Venice that it has earned the Italian city a number of nicknames, including “The Floating City”. Although they may have joked about it in the past, more people are becoming concerned about the state of the romantic city as buildings have begun to crack and crumble due to rising seawater. These rising seas have caused severe flooding, which is increasing more and more every year. Researchers fear that it could be only 70 years before the city sinks into the abyss.
Glacier National Park
With its rugged mountains, pristine lakes and beautiful meadows, Glacier National Park in Montana is a hiker’s paradise. The national park is home to one of the largest and most intact ecosystems in North America. But there are fears that the park may soon not be able to live up to its name. 100 years ago, there were over 150 glaciers strewn across the area but by 2005, there were only 27 remaining due to Global Warming. The absence of cold water could significantly endanger the state of the ecosystem when the glaciers are gone, which is predicted to be by 2030, if not sooner.
The majestic Taj Mahal is one of India’s best known monuments. The beautiful marble mausoleum is a considered to be “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”, according to UNESCO. However, the building, which sees hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, may soon close its doors for good because air pollution is causing the building’s interior to deteriorate. This is no new issue, the Indian government has been trying to solve this problem for years, to no avail. Between the huge crowds and air pollution, the Taj Mahal may close the 17th century landmark to the public in as soon as five years, leaving people to admire it only from afar.