World Heritage Sites In danger - A Study found. - Seeker's Thoughts

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Thursday, 18 October 2018

World Heritage Sites In danger - A Study found.



Introduction – World Heritage Sites Threatened by Rising Sea Levels 
According to the recent study published in the Journal Nature Communications, 47 of the 49 historically and culturally significant sites that dot the rim of the Mediterranean Sea are in danger. All are located in the Mediterranean low elevation coastal zone and are not more than 33 feet above sea level. 
Italy's sites are the most vulnerable and at an extreme risk of being harmed. 15 sites of Italy followed by Croatia with 7, Greece with 4 and Tunisia with 4 stands in risk zone.  
The leaning tower of Pisa and medieval city of Rhodes are under severe threat of coastal erosion and flooding due to rising sea levels within the next 100 years. 

These world heritage sites are located along the northern Adriatic Sea, where extreme sea levels are highest as high storm surges coincide with high sea level rise. Only the medina of Tunis and Xanthos-Letoon in Turkey will not be threatened by either sea level rise or erosion by the turn of the century. 



What is the exact reason if concern? 
The flood risk from rising seas across the region is projected to increase by 50 percent by the year 2100, while coastal erosion is expected to increase by 13%. 
The researchers looked at four different climate scenarios using different rates of warming and ice sheet melting.  
Even under the most optimistic of scenario, the majority of the sites remain at risk.
Sites Data- There are 1,092 sites on the 2018 World Heritage List of those 845 are cultural, 209 are natural and 38 are mixed. UNESCO says 54 sites are currently in danger. 
The natural sites that include coral reefs, glaciers and wetlands had risen from 35 to 62 of the 241 listed sites since 2014, meanings one in four UNESCO natural sites are at risk, up from one in seven. 


How sea level rises? 
Global warming has a few major effects on the ocean. As water gets warmer, it expands. And as glaciers and ice caps in like Greenland and Antarctica melt, they add water to the ocean. That all causes sea levels to go up. 
Effects of sea level rise 
Rising sea levels are expected to increase the of flooding, storm surges, and property damage in coastal cities could and regions. 

Conclusion  
The study identified adaption is most urgently needed. Local studies should be initiated at these sites, to investigate every single endangered World Heritage Site in detail. There is immediate need for actions and adaption. Measures must be taken to counter the increased risk, which must be implemented at the sites without affecting their status as UNESCO World Heritage. In addition to adaption strategies, the scientist also emphasized the central relevance of climate mitigation: “without appropriate adaption measures, combined with rigorous global-scale mitigation, our world’s cultural heritage could be severely damaged by sea-level rise, and therefore lose its outstanding value as a UNESCO World Heritage Site”.