10. SEYCHELLES ISLANDS, INDIAN OCEAN – SINKING INTO THE SEA
The Seychelles islands are a collection of approximately 115 islands scattered across the Indian Ocean and are home to a number of exclusive luxury resorts offering tourists the opportunity to enjoy sandy white beaches, clear water, and breathtaking beauty, both above and below the water.
These islands are truly the epitome of a beach paradise, but beautiful though they may be, the Seychelles islands are threatened by beach erosion, with some experts predicting that in less than 100 years, the islands could be completely submerged. What’s more, the reefs surrounding the islands have succumbed to erosion with much of the coral dying completely in some areas.
9. PATAGONIAN ICE FIELDS, CHILE – ANOTHER SHRINKING GLACIER
The Patagonian Ice Fields span the border between Chile and Argentina and are the second-largest fields in the world – with Kluane National Park in Canada boasting the largest. The striking cascading ice sheet is impressive enough just to look at – but there is also the opportunity for adventurous tourists the chance to challenge themselves with a week-long hike across the ice caps.
The ice fields, much like the glaciers mentioned in this list, are shrinking at a rapid rate, with Cornell University researcher estimating that the fields are shrinking 1.5 times faster than previously recorded – leaving many worried that exactly that region will look like 10 years down the line.
8. EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, FLORIDA, USA – THREATENED BY URBAN DEVELOPMENT
The southern tip of Florida is home to the Everglades National Park, a stunning wetland wilderness home to a huge number of birds, reptiles, and threatened species. The vast landscape is not only rich in natural beauty, but it is also an extremely important habitat to many species that are at risk of extinction.The park has been on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger since 2010, with urban development and agriculture pressures being attributed as the main reasons why more than half of the original Everglades have been destroyed altogether.
7. MADAGASCAR FORESTS, MADAGASCAR – DESTROYED EVERY YEAR
Madagascar is a huge island just off the coast of Africa and is home to a diverse collection of wildlife, rainforests, beaches, and reefs. In fact, Madagascar is home to reptiles and mammals that exist nowhere else on Earth, making this large island an extremely important habitat.
Sadly, a large number the forests of Madagascar have already been destroyed by deforestation, with the remaining forest being slowly destroyed even more every year. Deforestation remains the number one biggest threat to the wildlife that resides on the island and may leave the ecosystem of Madagascar looking very different in 2030.
6. THE DEAD SEA, ISRAEL – SHRINKING INTO A SALT BATH
The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, is a landlocked salt lake that sits between the borders of Israel and Jordan. It is located at the lowest point on Earth, and remains a popular tourist attraction due to the high salinity of its water, making swimming in the water feel more like floating. It’s a truly unique place in the world and sees tourists flocking to the water every year.
The future for the lake doesn’t look promising, however. Each year, the Dead Sea is estimated to shrink about 3.3 feet and has already lost a third of its surface area since 1960. By 2030, there may not be much that remains of the lake at all.
5. THE CITY OF PETRA, JORDAN
The city of Petra, also known as the Rose City due to the natural colour of the stone, is a famous archaeological site in Jordan. It dates back to approximately 300 B.C. and includes an impressive array of tombs and temples, perhaps the most famous of which is the 45 metres high Al Khazneh temple, also known as The Treasury.
Petra is receding due to erosion and saltwater damage, with fears that the city will crumble – or that tourism will stop completely to preserve what remains of the ancient buildings.
4. CERRO RICO MOUNTAIN, BOLIVIA – AT RISK OF COLLAPSING
The Cerro Rico mountain in Bolivia is home to the largest silver mine in the world. The city of Potosi, beside the mountain, was deemed a World Heritage Site in 1987 due to the significant impact on the economy, and now enjoys a healthy tourism trade with visitors taking a tour of the Cerro Rico Mine itself, which still operates as a mine today.
However, there are serious fears that over mining puts the mountain at risk of collapsing, endangering not only the people that work there but several archaeological studies that are taking place in the area as well.
3. TIGER WATCHING, WORLDWIDE – NOT A WHISKER LEFT
Tigers are arguably one of the most majestic animals on the planet, and endangered status arguably makes them an even more popular animal for people to try to spot on a safari. They are one of the world’s most endangered animals, as the devastation of their habitat has caused a huge drop in the number of tigers now living in the wild.
With just 3,000 tigers left in the wild, their future is by no means certain – and by 2030, the opportunity to go on a safari with the hopes of seeing a wild tiger with your own eyes could be a thing of the past.
2. THE SUNDARBANS, BANGLADESH – THREATENED BY DEFORESTATION
The Sundarbans spread across a vast area of India and Bangladesh, and are home to the largest area of mangrove forests in the world, containing almost 4,000 miles of water and land in the Ganges Delta. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the beautiful mangrove forests are an extremely important part of Bangladesh, providing a home to several endangered species including tigers.
An increase in deforestation continues to threaten the endangered animals that live in the Sundarbans, while pollution is causing sea levels to rise and erode the coastline that provides a home to many species within the area.
1. COLUMBIA GLACIER, ALASKA, USA – YET ANOTHER SHRINKING GLACIER
The Columbia Glacier, located in southeastern Alaska, is one of the most rapidly changing glaciers in the world. Descending from an ice field 10,000 feet above sea level, the cascade of ice strikes an imposing and dramatic figure in the stunning Alaskan landscape.
While many glaciers in the world are shrinking, the Columbia Glacier is shrinking at a particularly rapid rate. Scientists are predicting that by just 2020, the glacier will have shrunk to 26 miles long – barely a shadow of its once vast size.