How Climate Change Could Affect Cultural Landmarks

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As climate change progresses and sea levels rise, a recent report claims global landmarks like the Statue of Liberty could be in jeopardy. A new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters looked at how melting glaciers and ice sheets in current climate trends would affect cultural sites around the world and populations living near coasts within the next two millennia. According to The Guardian, the researchers warn even just an increase of three degrees Celsius would impact about six percent of the world’s landmarks, such as the Tower of London and Sydney Opera House. Although the estimates are based on what will happen in 2,000 years, the study’s lead author claims we will see the first impacts of climate change on global landmarks within this century. But the researchers also say about seven percent of the global population would be living on land below sea level.

This would affect cities such as Venice, which regularly sees floods and has even implemented various defense measures to protect the city. Now, there is no consensus in the scientific community about exactly how climate change will impact the world. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it is still unclear how fast the climate could warm or what consequences to specific regions could be. But the Science Recorder reports the researchers’ predicted rise in temperature over the next 2,000 years is “generally considered not to be an extreme scenario.” The researchers noted their estimates were on the conservative side as they did not take into account some climate threats such as storm surges.

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