Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian World Heritage sites at special climate change risk- International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN)

From the Everglades to Kilimanjaro, climate change is destroying world wonders
Number of natural world heritage sites at serious risk from global warming has doubled in three years, says the IUCN, including the Great Barrier Reef and spectacular karst caves in Europe,
Guardian, Damian Carrington 14 Nov 17, From the Everglades in the US to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, climate change is destroying the many of the greatest wonders of the natural world.

A new report on Monday from the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) reveals that the number of natural world heritage sites being damaged and at risk from global warming has almost doubled to 62 in the past three years.

Those at high risk include iconic places from the Galapagos Islands to the central Amazon and less well known but equally vibrant and unique sites such as the karst caves of Hungary and Slovakia and the monarch butterfly reserves in Mexico.

Coral reefs are particularly badly affected by rising ocean temperatures, from the Seychelles to Belize, where the northern hemisphere’s biggest reef is situated. Global heating is also causing mountain glaciers to rapidly shrink, from Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to the Rocky Mountains in Canada and the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch – home to the largest Alpine glacier.

Other ecosystems being damaged are wetlands, such as the Everglades, where sea level is rising as the ocean warms and salt water is intruding. In the Sundarbans mangrove forest on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal, two islands have already been submerged and a dozen more are threatened. Fiercer storms are also increasing the risk of devastation.

 Rising numbers of wildfires are damaging the beautiful Fynbos flowerscapes in the Cape region of South Africa and the Monarch butterfly site in Mexico. Elsewhere, warming is melting the permafrost in the newly declared Qinghai Hoh Xil heritage site, which is at 4,500m altitude in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

Australia is especially exposed as it has 10 natural heritage sites where climate change damage is rated as high or very high risk, from its Gondwana rainforests to Shark Bay in western Australia and islands such as Fraser and Macquarie.

The new IUCN report was launched at the UN climate summit being held in Bonn, Germany, where the world’s nations are working to put the 2015 landmark Paris agreement into operation.

“Protection of world heritage sites is an international responsibility of the same governments that have signed up to the Paris agreement,” said Inger Andersen, IUCN director general. “This report sends them a clear message: climate change acts fast and is not sparing the finest treasures of our planet. This underlines the need for urgent and ambitious national commitments and actions to implement the Paris agreement.”

Climate change is one of a range of factors that mean about a third of the world’s 241 natural heritage sites are being damaged, with invasive alien species being the top threat. Then, after global warming, comes unsustainable tourism, followed by other problems like poaching and construction…… https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/13/from-the-everglades-to-kilimanjaro-climate-change-is-destroying-world-wonders

Advertisements

November 15, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: