Our world is changing rapidly and with climate change racing forward travel destinations are becoming more and more at risk of becoming damaged beyond repair. In even just a short space of time, our favourite landmarks from around the world could become unrecognisable.
Here at The Latin America Travel Company, we’re highly aware of the effect that the changing climate has on our beloved destinations and experience first-hand the devastation this is having on our beloved glaciers in Peru.
That’s why we asked an artist to highlight what some of the most popular travel landmarks around the world would look like after they’ve been ravaged by climate change. From flooded Venice to the burnt landscape of the Blue Mountains, delve into the collection that may just tell the future of some of our great landscapes.
It’s no secret that of all the tourist attractions in the world, Venice is particularly in danger and not just by over tourism but also climate change. The ancient city brings travellers from far and wide to marvel at its canals and Renaissance palaces. However, as sea waters rise the ancient city comes under threat of being flooded, and maybe one day will eventually be entirely underwater.
Statue of Liberty, USA
It may look like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow which depicts how global warming will affect New York City, but this future may become a reality sooner than we think. Rising water levels around the globe will see coastal cities engulfed by the tide and even resilient landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty up to her waist in water. The rest of New York City won’t be so lucky either with the majority of the metropolis completely uninhabitable.
The poster child for climate change is the melting ice sheet of Antarctica, however, not many people know that the continent is not exclusively made of ice. Once the ice melts, a landform will be exposed including a mountain range and new islands. The real threat of Antarctica melting is not necessarily what will happen to the continent itself, but the knock-on effect to other areas of the world. As the sea levels rise many cities around the world that are based on the coast will be wiped out, not to mention the animals that call Antarctica home.
Three Sisters, Australia
As a beautiful natural rock formation that overlooks the beauty of the Blue Mountains on the Jamison Valley, The Three Sisters possesses buckets of natural splendour and is one of Australia’s top tourist attractions. Unfortunately, in the future bushfires will ravage the landscape, made more furious by the warming temperatures which will lead them to spread through the country at unprecedented rates. This will leave the Blue Mountains forest-less with a burnt landscape stretching as far as the eye can see.
Mumbai is one of the most populated cities in the entire world with a population of around 21,347,000 people and is only one of many cities that will be plagued with overpopulation in the future. Overpopulation tends to occur when there are too many people for the environment to sustain it, often a result of an increase in births, a decline in mortality rate and depletion of resources. In the future, if Mumbai were to be overpopulated its inhabitants would likely live in slums with the city building itself upwards rather than outwards. This would decline the population’s health and quality of life and see famous landmarks such as the Gateway of India dwarfed by residential housing.
Victoria Falls, Zambia
In 2019 we had a horrible taste of what could happen to Victoria Falls if it were to be affected by climate change. The drought that ravaged the region caused this natural wonder of the world to dry up, and there’s no question that years down the line this will become a permanent issue. The drying up of the waterfall has a knock-on effect with parts of Zimbabwe and Zambia suffering power cuts as they rely heavily on hydropower from plants downstream from the waterfall. Wildlife and fauna surrounding the area will also experience threats from lack of food and water.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
For years the Great Barrier Reef has been under threat of dying with rising sea temperatures affecting this beautiful area. The diversity of the reef’s wildlife and natural beauty has depleted and in the future, it’s no surprise that the reef will likely die off completely. Warmer water temperatures and ocean pollution result in coral bleaching turning this vibrant landscape ghostly white, a shadow of its former beauty. While coral bleaching doesn’t directly kill if it only occurs rarely, if this accelerates to every couple of years the reef will never recover.
Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest and is often called the “Lungs of the World” as it creates more than 20% of the world’s oxygen. For years this rainforest has been at threat from deforestation from people burning areas to make land for cattle and crops to trees cut down for paper or burned to create electricity. With the increase of deforestation into the future with no sign of slowing down it won’t be long until the entire rainforest has been felled for human use. This will then lead to higher C02 emissions, an entire habitat for animals will be destroyed and around the world, there will be more droughts, longer dry spells and massive amounts of flooding.
One of the landmarks people don’t generally consider to be at risk from climate change is Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire that has stood for thousands of years. Although the structure has withstood England’s unforgiving weather for generations, it has an unlikely threat in the form of a small, furry mammal. As temperatures rise around the world, the hot, dry springs and cool moist summers provide the perfect environment for moles to breed. This spike in the number of moles can cause soil erosion underneath Stonehenge’s standing stones causing them to eventually topple.
The Parthenon, Greece
Greece has some of the oldest ancient monuments in the world with many of these created during the Roman Empire. The Parthenon is just one of these amazing temples which sits within the city of Athens. In the future with the rise of carbon emissions, there’s likely to be knock-on effects locally. The rise of tourism, the use of cars and other pollutants will poison the city’s air resulting in acid rain. This rain will fall on the ancient monuments of Athens which have stood for thousands of years and slowly erode them until they’re just a shadow of their former grandeur.
Pastoruri Glacier, Peru
Pastoruri Glacier is only one of the few remaining glaciers left in the tropical areas of South America, but it won’t be long until this glacier too has been reduced to nothing. The world’s glaciers are threatened by the rising temperatures that make the ice melt, which then flows more water to the seas which in turn warms the ocean waters and expands in volume. Currently more than 99% of the world’s tropical glaciers are found in the South American Andes but with the continuation of climate change this beautiful and diverse landscape will be transformed forever.