By Paul Brown
Staff at a British company became so frustrated by the many adults still denying the scientific evidence of global warming that they are using graphic images of the effects on several famous tourist sites to show people the views we’ll lose.
The prediction from scientists that the city of Venice and London’s world-famous Big Ben are among the treasures that will be overwhelmed by flooding from heavy rains and sea level rise has led those who work at The Solar Centre to produce current and future pictures of these tourist magnets to ram home their point.
They have also created similar before-and-after images of the English Lake District, which will begin to dry up because of climate change, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, where corals are already being wiped out and will vanish entirely under the worst-case scenario.
In the past tabloid newspapers have got into trouble for mocking up photographs of what will happen under rising temperatures, but the campaigners at The Solar Centre insist that their images recreate the scientific evidence.
How badly affected these places are and how quickly they will deteriorate depends on the efforts made now to reduce emissions to the atmosphere. But all of them could vanish within the lifetime of children now at primary school.
Hannah Buckley, from the company, said: “Our aim in these pictures is to raise further awareness of the damage we are inflicting on ourselves. We believe that people still choose to ignore the facts as they cannot see the damage today.
“Many people are choosing to go on holiday at this time of year and we picked out some of the tourist destinations, both in the UK and abroad, that are most at risk from climate change.
“Consistently climate scientists talk of rising sea levels and melting glaciers, whilst the reality is that people don’t think this will affect them as they don’t live near the sea or near a glacier.
“Action is needed to reduce the on-going sense of apathy towards climate change. Hence, here at The Solar Centre our climate awareness team decided to visualise what popular tourist destinations would look like in accordance with current research, using Photoshop. By visualising the effect on destinations that are immediately recognisable to everyone, we hope that people will start to take notice before it’s too late.”
Because London is one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting the UK, and Big Ben one of its most iconic buildings, the company decided to show how climate change could threaten the 160-year-old clock.
Research has suggested climate change will cause storm surges from the North Sea coinciding with river flooding from the Thames. This would result in mass flooding of the city of London and create an abundance of surface water. Even walking across the Thames by Westminster Bridge could be problematic.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, located off Australia’s east coast. It attracts snorkelers and divers, and more importantly is home to many species of fish and other marine life. Climate change is already having a huge impact on the reef.
Rising sea temperatures are the main reason, causing the coral to bleach and ultimately killing it. This trend is likely to increase, and soon there could be almost no marine life left in what is currently one of Australia’s world heritage sites.
Venice is sometimes called the floating city, but soon this could be the sinking city. It is already at constant threat from flooding because of its low-lying foundations. Any time there is heavy rain combined with high tides, seawater is driven into the city. Part could soon lie partly under water.
The Lake District – a popular holiday destination in north-west England – is famed for its mountain views and lakes. It faces multiple threats from climate change. Species likely to decline include the mountain ringlet butterfly. But there will be an increase in invasive species like pygmy weeds and Japanese knotweeds – not the type of plants you want in your back garden
Heavy rainfall will cause erosion, damaging footbridges and footpaths, which will increase the amount of soil in the lakes. In the summer months, lake levels will also fall drastically, altering cherished views. – Climate News Network