Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Places to see before they disappear

Numerous places in the world are facing a ticking clock when it comes to their future. According to the experts, the following places are due to disappear. 

Venice, one of the loveliest cities on earth, is also one of the most doomed. Thanks to an imperfect combination of the land sinking and the water levels rising. Venice has sunk by around 7cm a century for the past thousand years, but a report suggests that process has sped up and in the last 100 years, Venice has sunk by 24cm. Climatologists believe that Venice could be uninhabitable by 2100. The Italian government is committed to spending millions of schemes to help prop the city up and save it from the waves, however no scheme so far seems to have the answers. 

According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Great Barrier Reef, and the nearly $5 billion tourist industry built around it, could be “extinct” by 2050. This is due to climate change and pollution. A process called bleaching happens when the acidity of the ocean increases due to the absorption of carbon dioxide, which kills off the micro-organisms that make up the reef.  

The Dead Sea is under threat of draining dry. In 2006, according to the now ex-Jordanian Minister for Water and Agriculture, Hazem Nasser, "There is a declination in the level of the sea at about one metre every year." Jordan are lobbying for more water to be pumped into the Dead Sea from the Red Sea. The authorities say that unless nearly two billion cubic metres of water per year is pumped into the Dead Sea, it will disappear in 50 years time. 

Built around 2000 years ago to keep out the marauding hordes, the Great Wall of China is a dazzling man-made achievement. At its peak, the Great Wall reached 4,500 miles from South Korea to the Gobi desert. However, the World Monuments Fund has put the Great Wall on a list of the 100 most endangered structures and the Beijing Daily Newspaper reported that, "Around a third of the 2000-year-old structure is merely rubble and the same amount again has completely disappeared". Sandstorms are to blame for a more than 37-mile stretch of the wall being destroyed, although a great deal of the wall has been destroyed thanks to generations of farmers using the wall to build and repair their homes and farms.

 More than 20% of the world's oxygen is produced in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, which is why it's often described at the lungs of the planet. The Rainforest is one of the world's natural marvels, with more than half of the estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects on earth, living in its tropical forest. However, between May 2000 and August 2005, Brazil lost more than 132,000 square kilometers of forest—an area larger than Greece — and since 1970, over 600,000 square kilometres of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed. With de-forestation running at such a rapid rate, experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.

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