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    Posted April 21, 2014 by
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    First Person: Your essays

    Disappearing Wonders

    The world is a rapidly growing and changing place. While most of the changes benefit humanity, some cause harm to the world and aren’t always for the best. Technology has helped advance our human societies but has also caused ecosystems to decline or disappear entirely. With a world as magical as ours, there are many places everyone should see. I have compiled a list of ten places that everyone should visit before they no longer have the chance, as these places are disappearing.
    10. The Galapagos Islands
    The Galapagos Islands used to be untouched – a natural exotic location – until tourism began to take over and is now a massive player in the economy of the islands. Pollution and destruction caused by construction for tourism, and animals smuggled onto the islands that compete with the wildlife are causing the natural ecosystem to be destroyed. The islands are expected to have little over 100 years left as they are.
    9. The Maldives
    The Maldives are a cluster of 1,200 islands and are known as the world’s lowest nation, as over eighty percent of the islands are only one meter above sea level. These gorgeous islands are sinking due the rising sea level. These islands are also known for coral reefs that surround them, but these are also disappearing due to coral bleaching. These islands are expected to disappear in less than 100 years.
    8. The Great Barrier Reef
    Everyone has heard of the Great Barrier Reef, located just off the coast of Australia. These massive reefs, like the Maldives’ reefs, are disintegrating from coral bleaching. Climate change, the acidification of the ocean, and water pollution are all factors that contribute to the coral bleaching affecting the reefs. The Great Barrier Reef is expected to have less than 100 years left.
    7. Venice, Italy
    Venice is a picturesque city in Italy that is known for its gondolas that make up the street traffic. This city has always been sinking slowly. However, rising sea levels are causing this process to accelerate at an unprecedented rate. Venice experiences floods every year, but they are now quickly becoming severe. Venice has been given approximately 70 years before it sinks completely.
    6. The Dead Sea
    The Dead Sea is the saltiest body of water on the planet - its salinity is 33.7%. This sea has been shrinking since water from it was first diverted from its main tributary, the Jordan River, 50 years ago. Every year sea shrinks around three feet, dropping the water level by four feet. At this rate the Dead Sea has less than 50 years before it disappears.
    5. Antarctica
    While Antarctica is not known for its massive tourism industry, it is still a wonder to behold. This little visited continent has gained some momentum towards a tourist hub, but it is possibly going to be stopped before it is a real contender in the tourism industry. This is because Antarctica is melting – rapidly. Global climate change cannot be held off even in this remote location. The polar ice caps that first drew tourists and explorers alike are now melting. If these temperatures continue as they are, or increase anymore Antarctica has roughly 45 years left.
    4. The Appalachian Mountains
    The Alps are threatened by global climate change and have been shrinking due to the changes in the temperature. These majestic glaciers have already lost twenty percent of their size since the 1980’s. They are guessed to have around 40 years left.
    3. Madagascar
    Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island and is located off the east coast of Africa. This tropical island is famed for its extreme diversity – around eighty percent of the plants and animals found on Madagascar cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. The main cause of the possible disappearance comes from mass destruction of the natural ecosystem. This island has become an increasingly popular tourist location, which has called for more construction. The forests are also used for timber and animals are poached for varies reasons. These acts all disrupt the environment of Madagascar and contribute to its loss of diversity and destruction of its forests. Madagascar’s forests are expected to last only another 35 years or less.
    2. Glacier National Park
    Glacier National Park is on a steep decline. This once plentiful park held 150 glaciers just 100 years ago. Today there are fewer than 25 glaciers left. They are rapidly receding and melting due to global climate change. The few glaciers that are left are expected to be gone within 8 years or less.
    1. Taj Mahal
    The Taj Mahal is the largest and most ornate mausoleum ever built. It was constructed beginning in 1632 and lasted for 21 years. The Taj Mahal is going to close to the public due to the deterioration of the structure from pollution and mass tourism. The Taj Mahal would not be closed permanently but indefinitely until it can be properly restored.
    This list is to show the effects we have as human over time have had on our environment and even some of our own creations. Global climate change is destroying some of the most magical places on the Earth, so there is no time like the present to go visit them before they are gone. Although, I hope this list has presented the idea that while tourism is good for people and the economy, it should be done with regard to the impact on the environment. Happy Travels!
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