Travel

4 Not-So-Obvious Places Under Serious Threat From Climate Change

Visit while you still can. 😶
06/02/2017 04:20pm ET

It’s no secret that rising sea levels threaten watery historical sites and travel destinations like Venice and the Maldives. Many travel experts suggest visiting these spots now, before they’re underwater or it’s too late to enjoy them as they are.

But keep in mind that climate change will devastate more than island nations and coastal cities: Even the Alps are at severe risk of losing the ecosystems that make them such an epic place to visit. Below, find four surprising spots that may be altered forever by climate change. Their beauty will remind you to green-ify your life at home, too.

1
The Alps
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The Alps’ majestic ski scene could soon look very different. Even in 2006, the region was warming at about three times the global average rate, according to the intergovernmental Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Rising temperatures mean the Alps could lose up to 77 percent of their snow cover by the end of the century, another study concluded.
2
Alaska
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Obviously, the state's glaciers are melting, but there are other problems that might be more surprising. As underground permafrost melts and causes widespread floods, residents in at least three Alaskan towns are looking into relocating. Native hunters near the city of Barrow are finding it harder to hunt for food because dried-up water sources are causing wildlife to flee. Elsewhere, entire villages are at risk of falling into the ocean.
3
The Dead Sea
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The region surrounding this landlocked natural wonder is facing its worst drought in centuries, which is causing the sea’s surface level to drop by a meter every year. Tourist resorts and landmarks that were on the shore in the 1980s are now more than a mile’s walk from the water, the BBC reports. Humans have contributed to the shrinkage by diverting water sources and extracting minerals, while global warming only makes the region ever drier.
4
Phoenix, Arizona
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Climatologists have serious doubts that Phoenix will be habitable in the future. The Smithsonian reports that, according to University of Arizona climatologist Jonathan Overpeck, temperatures in this desert metropolis could typically reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit or more "by the second half of this century." Phoenix has experienced unusually severe droughts recently, and the dwindling water supply is a concern.
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