JUN 14, 2016 05:54 AM PDT
Climate Change Endangering World Heritage Sites
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World Heritage sites draw thousands of tourists each year in countries all over the globe. The money that comes in from tourism at these sites is vital to the local economies. A new report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) shows that 31 different sites in 29 countries are in danger from the effects of climate change. It's not news to most who study the environment. In 2014 a study showed that 136 World Heritage sites would be endangered due to rising sea levels, which are a result of warming temperatures and ice melt.

Rising sea levels are threatening the small town of Lunenburg Nova Scotia, but there are other environmental threats as well. Wild fires have taken a toll on forest lands in Yellowstone National Park. In Komodo National Park in Indonesia, the only place in the world where the komodo dragon breeds, increased rainfall could flood breeding areas. The iconic stone statues on Easter Island are showing signs of erosion and with larger and more powerful waves expected in the weather pattern this is only going to get worse. It's not just animals or ancient artifacts either. In New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty had to be closed for 9 months as a result of damage sustained during Hurricane Sandy in 2011.

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