Barrier Reef Australia
Divers, it’s time to cross the Australia Great Barrier Reef off of that bucket list NOW …or at least start spreading some awareness to save the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem. A mind blowing study released by the Australian Institute of Marine Science in 2012 confirmed that over the past 27 years, about 50% of the reef has deteriorated due to climate change, cyclones linked to global warming, predator starfish and lets not leave out the usual culprit – humans. The reef serves as the home for tens of thousands of animal species, stretching over 1800 miles along Australia’s coast – let’s not let this living giant disappear.
Hovering just 7’11” above sea level, the dangerous reality the Maldives face is a hard pill to swallow. Just one hefty rise of the sea’s salty waves and this tiny paradise will become the first the nation in the world to be swallowed up by the sea, already sinking a little bit each year. Global warming is the monster behind this threat, so serious that the government has started searching for land in India, Sri Lanka and Australia to potentially relocate their population one day.
Global warming is at it again, heating up one of America’s most prized natural possessions at an alarming rate- the breathtaking Alaskan Tundra. Rising temperatures are melting the permafrost, not only destroying the unique ecosystem but also acting as a super boost for global warming in other parts of the planet. The heat is on (no pun intended) for a solution, as we may be seeing more tropical tundra in the future.
The Florida Everglades
This pristine swampland is home to hundreds of organisms unique to Florida that are getting bruised and battered by invasive species, pollution and yup, you guessed it-humans.
Florida is low lying to begin with, so the everglades have a similar threat as the Maldives when it comes to rising sea levels. Saltwater seeping into this freshwater ecosystem could very well destroy and endanger several plant and animal species. According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, sea levels have already risen 4 to 8 inches in the past century.
Imagine stepping into a tropical wonderland, transported back over centuries to see miles of never ending lush forest brimming with a myriad of animals and organisms that have never been discovered before. Now, back to the 21st century- the thick green tree tops have been leveled to mere stumps, with no life to be found anywhere. Welcome to the beautiful Borneo Rainforest, devastated by deforestation and palm oil plantations at an overwhelming pace each year. With the timber tycoons of the world overriding deforestation laws, the future of this majestic land and its breathtaking wildlife could become a tragic loss.
Courtney is a full-time writer covering soccer, travel and the outdoors. You can find her scouting out hole in the wall joints for the perfect carnitas taco, jumping in the ocean under the light of a full moon or exploring the beautiful Florida wilderness and documenting her adventures in her blog, www.localtravelgal.wordpress.com.