The natural wonders are our historical identity and pride. They are the crucial representation of our mother planet. It’s always our top priority to conserve and protect them for the future generation. 

The climate change-induced effects have targeted the five areas, including land and the aquatic biodiversity, glaciers, and historical and archaeological sites. Below is the inclusion of several natural wonders which are unsafe for the human as listed:

1. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia

Great Barrier Reef - natural wonders
Coral Garden of great barrier reef (source)

Australia’s great barrier reef has harbored unique species of reptiles and Pisces. Due to the effects induced by climate change, the essential natural wonder, barrier reefs in Australia have been facing huge threats due to rising ocean temperatures.

The continuous temperature rise in the ocean shifted the barrier reef to the beach, causing the corals to white and initiating a phase before the death of the reefs.

The beauty has gradually faded, wading away from the natural reefs due to the consequences of anthropogenic led climate change. 

Since it plays a crucial role in an ecosystem, once the barrier reef loses its natural beauty, it directly impacts the living creatures, primarily reptiles and fishes.

2. The Mount Everest

Everest - natural wonders
Mount Everest viewed from Tibet (source)

The trek route of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, has been polluted day by day due to anthropogenic human activities. 

The mountaineers and the trekkers contaminate trails on their way to the mountain. Microplastics have been detected in the snow samples collected from 11 sites within the Everest region in the snow near the mountain’s peak.

The tiny plastic fibers remained within the snow as sought in the base camp areas. The toxicity within the fibers and the plastics may impact microorganisms and wildlife. 

3. The Stone forest, China

Stone forest - natural wonders
Scenic Area of Stone Forest (source)

It’s the beauty of nature that inside the forest, there is the presence of the stylish limestone formations situated in the stone forest, China. The stalagmite rock formation has attracted millions of tourists every year. 

Besides these, it is home to thousands of wildlife and indigenous people. It is believed that this stone forest is a cause of the number of earthquakes and the wind erosion that occurred naturally.

But with time, in the present context, due to the climatic change impacts such as massive inflation in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, acid rain induced by the carbon dioxide increment, the lush natural beauty of the karst has deteriorated. 

Such consequences can wade away the natural color of the rocks and may erase from the forest resulting in the loss of wildlife and the birds in the forest habitat.

4. The Pantanal, Brazil

Pantanal - natural wonders
Toco toucans Pousada Santa Clara, Pantanal, Brazil (source)

As inferred by the most significant tropical wetland globally, the Pantanal provides incredible scenic beauty.

The critical problem of wildfires can cause massive devastation in the forest, thereby losing the native, rare, and endangered flora and fauna. It has threatened the existence of wildlife and birds too.

5. The Republic of Maldives

Maldives - natural wonders
Wooden cottage in Ocean, Maldives (source)

Dwelled in the Indian Ocean, the Republic of Maldives harbors numerous islands, lagoons, and beaches. It has been very unsafe for humans and under threat in recent days. 

Since most of the islands in the Republic of Maldives are a little above sea level, the scientists and climate researchers are worried that they may disappear and have warned that if there is a continuous rise in global warming, they will disappear before our sight.

In addition, the islanders residing in and near the Republic of Maldives face some climate change impacts.

6. The Galapagos Islands

Galapagos - natural wonders
Turtle swimming on Galapagos Island (source)

The Galapagos Islands represent the crucial marine ecosystem and are familiar with the term ‘wildlife museum,’ it is considered one of the most famous destinations for viewing the wildlife. 

Charles Darwin, the pioneering naturalist, visited this island in 1835 AD, the species belonging to it. Once the naturalist visualized the species, he developed the theory of evolution, and in terms of nature, this theory is widely accepted today. 

Due to the haphazard extraction of the fish species from the island, many fish species are on the brink of extinction today, which needs utmost attention regarding the conservation of the species and nature since the species contribute a significant role in balancing the ecosystem. 

Once the coastal fishes are declined, the traditional nest of the birds too gets damaged and abandoned. 

Due to the invasion of alien species, the forest ecosystem associated with Galapagos Island has been degraded considering the present scenario.

7. The River of five colors, Columbia

River of five colors - natural wonders
River of five colors (source)

It is believed that the river of five colors located in Columbia turns into a liquid rainbow from time to time. Various colors such as yellow, red, purple, orange, and pink can be visualized far below the river’s clear water. 

There may be an inclusion of several factors that have influenced the natural river flowing phenomena. The color varies under the light and the water conditions. 

Those colors cause the endemic Macarenia clavigera aquatic plant, which slightly differs from algae and the moss and has specific characteristics to turn the river water into various colors, generally from May to November.

Dan A Hughes company had conducted a preliminary study to launch an oil company in the area. There is still controversy between the company and the government among locals since this case reached the court. 

Once drilling is near the river surface, it hampers the wildlife and the aquatic species, including the local fishes and the snakes. 

8. The Sahara Desert

Sahara - natural wonders
Sahara Desert (source)

It is considered the largest low latitude hot desert globally, covering almost all of northern Africa.

Since the rainfall is recorded as very minimal in this desert, it comprises numerous ecoregions, thereby harboring several plant species such as succulents, spiny shrubs, cactus, and the animal species such as fox, Saharan Cheetah, camel, and so on. 

Due to human-induced activities, even the Sahara desert remains no exception in degrading situations. The oases (the permanent water areas) have been affected by humans. 

The desert indigenous and the marginalized communities target the Sahara desert for hunting the large mammals of the desert and recreation.

The developmental projects initiated in the deserts of Algeria and Tunisia have extracted water from the underground aquifers. The haphazard and unmanaged water extraction has led to severe salinization and soil degradation. 

Since the Sahara desert represents the historic human civilization, anthropogenic activities in the desert, without a doubt, can result in the loss of original indigenous cultural identity. 

From the climatic change perspective, the rapid alteration in the temperature and the precipitation pattern cause effects of climate change.

The Sahara desert faces a hotter climate than in the past days, which may influence the living creatures within the Sahara desert.

9. The Victoria Falls

Victoria falls - natural wonders
Victoria Falls (source)

As Victoria Falls is entailed under one of the World Heritage Sites, this natural wonder represents the waterfall in the Zambezi River in the southern region of Africa. 

This waterfall is believed to be about twice the size of Niagara Falls, located in North America. Victoria Falls has been one of the significant tourist destinations in recent days.

Due to the extensive rise in temperature, this natural wonder is under massive threat making the region hotter. Several findings consistently show variability in the water flow within the Victoria falls. 

It catches the urgent attention that this river has been threatened by alien species invasions such as Eichhornia crassipes and the Opuntia species. 

Encroachment of the woody species and the shrinking of the open grasslands have hampered the entire ecosystem since it harbors various flora and fauna representing the aquatic ecosystem.

10. The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon - natural wonders
Grand Canyon (source)

Situated in the Grand Canyon National Park of Arizona, United States, everyone believes that the Grand Canyon possesses breathtaking scenic beauty. The Colorado River carves its canyon. 

The colorful canyon throughout the landscape attracts millions of tourists every year. Being the largest canyon in the world, the ancient rocks in the canyon wall mesmerize anyone’s eye.

In the Grand Canyon region, the southwest part is more likely to be affected by the drier conditions that may hamper the entire ecosystem, such as the declination of the riparian areas in the Grand Canyon National Park and chances of increment in the invasive species invasion. 

Besides these, climate change-induced effects such as less precipitation reduce the available forage.

Conclusion

With the tremendous human population existence and the effects of climatic change, the natural wonders worldwide are on the verge of extinction. 

The basic answer for conserving natural wonders is to make the most productive ecosystem and research science-based findings. 

Our aim and goal to make the natural wonders a healthy system requires effective coordination and plan-oriented conservation activities targeting the natural wonders of our nature. 

Kalpana Ghimire holds a post-graduate degree in Environmental Science from Nepal. She possesses numerous research experiences working in water pollution, community forestry, environment conservation status, and wildlife ecology. She was an internee in the Department of Environment (EIA monitoring and auditing section) under the Government of Nepal. Kalpana Ghimire is an avid traveler, an enthusiastic wildlife researcher, and has a huge passion for working in the environment sector. She loves far traveling to the natural areas, conducting field wildlife research and reading the novels.