The natural wonders are our historical identity and pride. They are the crucial representation of our mother planet and god gifted as a whole. It’s always our top priority to conserve and protect them for the future generation.
As featured in 26 case studies by UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the climate change-induced effects have targeted the five areas, including land and the aquatic biodiversity, glaciers, historical and archaeological sites.
Below is the inclusion of several natural wonders which seems very unsafe from the human as listed:
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1. The Great Barrier Reef of Australia
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 by 100 %, 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. It’s very ironic to express that these consequences are the outcomes 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, basically reptiles and fishes.
2. The Mount Everest
Without a doubt, Mount Everest, the highest mountain of Nepal globally, has its pride and identity.
Being one of the world’s natural wonders, due to anthropogenic human activities such as pollution, the trek route of Mount Everest has been polluted day by day.
The mountaineers and the trekkers do 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 trekkers’ movement area has made us think critically that the toxicity within the fibers and the plastics may hugely lead to microorganisms.
Once the wildlife consumes those, it can result in severe effects. To sum up, the non-biodegradable plastics remain intact within the environment for a prolonged time.
3. The Stone forest, China
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. Due to the stalagmite rocks formation, it has attracted millions of tourists every year.
Besides these, it is home to thousands of wildlife and the indigenous people as well. 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 soon.
4. The Pantanal, Brazil
As inferred by the most significant tropical wetland throughout the globe, the Pantanal provides incredible scenic beauty.
This wetland has been the victim of wildfires since it is an essential habitat for lush biological productivity.
It’s not surprising to depict that wildfires can cause massive devastation in the forest, thereby losing the native, rare, and endangered flora and fauna.
The wildfire targets the birds who reside and are dependent on the tropical wetland. It has threatened not only the wildlife and the birds but has shrunk their habitat too.
5. The Republic of Maldives
Dwelled in the Indian Ocean, the Republic of Maldives harbors numerous islands, lagoons, and beaches. In recent days, it has been very unsafe for humans and under threat.
Since most of the islands in the Republic of Maldives are a little above sea level, the scientists and climate researchers are worried that it may disappear and have warned that if there is a continuous rise in global warming, it will disappear before our sight.
In addition, the islanders residing in and nearby the Republic of Maldives are facing some impacts due to climate change.
6. The Galapagos Islands
As 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, had 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 world widely accepted today.
But in recent times, due to artificial anthropogenic activities, this island has remained under human threats. Those threats entail a wide array, such as massive industrial fishing and overfishing.
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
It is believed that the river of five colors as located in Columbia turns into a liquid rainbow from time to time. Numerous colors such as yellow, red, purple, orange, and pink can be visualized so 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.
The findings have revealed that 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 carried out a preliminary study to launch the oil company in the area. Oil drilling was seen as possible.
The protest from the local people and the environmentalists raised a voice against such a decision of the company. There is still controversy between the company and the government with locals since this case reached the court.
Once there is illegal drilling nearby the river surface, then with no doubt, one may be thinking about the hampers that may remain to the wildlife and the aquatic species, including the local fishes and the snakes.
The issue of river pollution may occur. To sum up, due to the rapid climatological alteration in the river, the river’s water level has been found to decrease significantly.
Devoid of rain may profoundly influence the natural working mechanism of the endemic plant, which changes the river watercolor.
Besides these, stock breeding and illegal logging have added to the threats upon such natural wonders at the global level.
Frequent human movement in the river has hampered the reproductive mechanisms of this endemic plant.
8. The Sahara Desert
It is considered the largest low latitude hot desert globally, covering almost all of northern Africa.
Since the rainfall is recorded 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.
In addition, the desert indigenous and the marginalized communities target the Sahara desert for hunting the large mammals of the desert and recreation.
Likewise, in the name of several developmental projects, the Sahara desert has deteriorated. For instance: 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 cases of 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 resulting from climate change.
The Sahara desert faces a hotter climate than in the past days, which may create a considerable influence among the living creatures within the Sahara desert.
9. The Victoria Falls
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.
Since it occupies the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, it comprises the world’s largest waterfalls based on its width and height.
It is believed that this waterfall is 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 have a consistency that there is 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
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.
With the colorful canyon throughout the landscapes, it attracts millions of tourists every year. Being the largest canyon in the world, the ancient rocks exposed 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 declination of the riparian areas in the Grand Canyon National Park, chances of increment in the invasive species invasion.
Apart from these, climate change-induced effects such as less precipitation reduce the available forage.
As entailed above, with the tremendous human population existence and the effects induced by the climatic change, the natural wonders throughout the world are on the verge of extinction before we can sight it.
To conclude, one might have curiosity about how we conserve our natural wonders. The basic answer that one often visualizes is making the most productive ecosystem and researching 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.