Global Warming is the biggest threat to our world today. You’ve heard it in your science classes, on the news and even in the Oscar acceptance speech by the talented Leonardo DiCaprio. On this Earth Day 2016, I take a look at which of my favourite destinations are under threat from global warming.
Tourism is both a contributor and victim to this worldwide threat. While it can’t be blamed as the main cause of global warming, it certainly plays its part. With the increase in foreign travel in the 20th Century and more flights operating than ever before it is no wonder that it contributes to the 5% of global CO2 emissions which is 4.6% of global warming.
But tourism is also the victim of global warming (ironic right), with many of the destinations we love and yearn to visit under serious threat of disappearing and changing FOREVER.
Here are a few tourism destinations I have visited over the years that
could be ARE in danger:
I LOVE visiting the Alps in the winter, often heading there at any opportunity, especially around the Christmas and New Year season. Ever since I was a child, the magic of being surrounded by mountains covered in snow, building snowmen, having snowball fights and sipping hot chocolate while tiny snowflakes fall on my eyelashes has enchanted me.
However, The Alps have been warming at three times the global average, with mountain glaciers retreating and snow arriving later and later every year. Winter skiing holidays on the famous slopes could be threatened if this trend continues. Many local ski resorts are having to produce artificial snow on their slopes (which, ironically, contributes to the problem of global warming by using more energy), while others have closed up shop altogether.
I remember arriving into the city of Venice, we took the train from Milan and we skimmed across the water and arrived into a city full of picturesque canals, stunning architecture, and a labyrinth of streets and bridges. This is a city of dreams!
But due to global warming and the rising of the sea level, this magnificent and unique city is under threat of sinking below the water. Already, the city has suffered terribly with a history of flooding over the years, damaging many of its historical buildings and causing havoc for its tourism industry. It is hoped that its new anti-flood barriers will prevent the city fro further flooding in the future.
Can you imagine a world without wine? I have visited numerous vineyards during my travels, from the slopes of Sicily to the hills of Alella close to Barcelona and the red mountains of Burma . A world without wine would be no good world at all!
Due to extreme temperatures from below minus winters and blistering hot summers the soil in the vineyards suffer, changing the conditions that the vines are used to. This is turn changes the taste and quality of the grapes, so our favourite wineries would be unable to produce the quantities they are currently.
I travelled to Iceland back in 2012 and I have to say its landscapes are amongst some of the best I have seen during all of my travels. It truly is the land of fire and ice. Its humongous volcano rises up out of its flat plain and its glaciers shimmer in the sunlight. But by far my favourite stops during our trip was Jökulsárlón and the magnificent Mýrdalsjökull glacier, both of which are sights made of ice.
Due to global warming, Iceland’s glacier and iceberg lagoons are are serious risk of disappearing. It is estimated that the country could lose 30% of its glacial mass as soon as 2050. Without its ice, how can the country synonymous with ice be called Iceland?
You’ve probably never heard of the small town of Reigate in the county of Surrey in England. However, this quaint town and its neighbouring town of Redhill is where I call home and it is where I spent my all of my childhood growing up. It is most notably famous for its location on the South Downs Way, a long distance walking trail that runs over 100 miles from the city of Winchester to the seaside town of Eastbourne. I love returning home to visit my family, spend some time in the picturesque countryside and revisit the trails and hills that I have traipsed more times then I care to remember.
They say global warming doesn’t hit home until it does, and over the past 2 years I have seen my small hometown flood to levels that I could never of thought possible. Due to an unprecedented amount of rain, our local river was bursting at the banks which caused the entire area to flood, leaving many people with flooded homes, closures to the hospital wings, railways closures, local businesses ruined and total chaos on the roads.
Global Warming has a direct influence on precipitation. When the earth heats up, the moisture from the soil evaporates into the atmosphere. Increased water vapor in the atmosphere means the higher chances of more thunderstorms, extraordinary amounts rain which increases the chances of towns such as Reigate to flood. And its not just my small corner of the world that is suffering, cities and countries across the globe have been affected by severe flash floods including Cumbria further north of England, Houston in the USA, Mozambique and Bangladesh .
So on this year’s #EarthDay, remember your actions can directly influence millions of people all over the world. Doing the smallest thing can make such a difference.
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall