The Statue Of Liberty

This sixth blog is about a location, but not just an ordinary location. This site is an important meaning to what the United State is as a country. The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of “freedom” that is being choked by climate change.

tour_img-739075-148

This monument is an inspiration to immigrants entering America as their ship sailed past. The Statue of Liberty is known as “The Statue if Liberty Enlightening the World.” It was given to the United States in 1886 by the people of France to stand for freedom and democracy. In 1933 it was declared the National Monument.

The monument is made of 3/32-inch copper while on a granite pedestal. The Lady of Liberty and her base stands 305 feet and 6 inches. The height of her alone is 111 feet and 6 inches. She has a waist line 35 foot. She weighs 225 tons. Her torch which symbolizes enlightenment has 24k gold thin sheets. Her seven spikes on her crown represents the seven continents. Her tablet which is the symbol of liberty in her left hand reads July IV MDCCLXXVI (1776). She is on an island that is only 12.7 acres surrounded by the Upper Bay of New York Harbor.

images (1)images (3)

The famous monument supports 88 employees, 12 term employees, and 36 seasonal employees as of 2017. In 2016, the symbol of freedom attracted 4.5 million visitors. Those visitors spent roughly $263.2$ million in the local businesses around. This revenue supported 3.4 thousand of jobs. Altogether, the Lady of Liberty revenues about $364 million to the local economy.

The Statue of Liberty is in great danger from climate change. The increase of severe storms is doing great damage. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 caused serious damage to the Lady herself. The repairs cost about $100 million, and all that damage was done by only one storm! The storm caused storm surge that caused extreme flooding to damage the monument. The island was flooded about 75%. The tourism site was closed for about a year after the horrific event. Not only did the storm cause cost of damage to be high, but with the site being shut down for a year had to cause a lot more money to be lost. In the future, how many more hurricanes are going to causing this much damage? The statue is built to hold up against 150 mph winds, but is that going to be good enough? Also when water rises from sea level rising, will it be able to survive all that force from the Bay?

“What are ways to save the Statue of Liberty from the rising waters,” you may ask. According to Jerry Matyiko of Expert House Mover Inc. of Maryland, he suggests putting her on stilts instead of moving her. He has some experience in monument relocation, but is this realistic? And you may be able to move or put the monument on stilts, but imagine having to put the entire city on stilts because you for sure can not move it. Will this cause New York City and New Jersey to be re-designed like New Orleans on stilts? Once the Statue of Liberty is gone, how much is the local economy going to lose?

images (4)

To many citizens, including me, will be devastated if we lost the Statue of Liberty! Ever since I was a little girl in first grade we learned about the Liberty Lady herself. She has always symbolized an important meaning of freedom to all immigrants. They knew when they saw her that they were entering into freedom and a new life. If she sinks, our freedom will sink with her from climate change. Is this what it takes for everyone in the United States to see that we are destroying this planet and that we need to completely change our lifestyles? Do we have to lose our freedom from climate change before our country changes?

early-access-statue-liberty-tour-ellis-island-attraction

If we do not save the Statue of Liberty, will it go from a symbol of “freedom and democracy” to a symbol of the “choking of climate change” once it is under water?

 

https://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/about-the-statue-of-liberty

https://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/statue-history

https://www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm

https://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/statue-facts

https://www.nps.gov/stli/learn/management/park-statistics.htm

https://ny.curbed.com/2016/5/31/11824586/climate-change-unesco-world-heritage-statue-of-liberty

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/statue-liberty-risk-destroyed-global-warming-article-1.2654077

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-05-24/saving-the-statue-of-liberty-from-climate-change

http://gothamist.com/2016/05/30/the_statue_of_liberty_is_at_high_ex.php

Advertisements

Mesa Verde National Park

Wildfires! Temperature rise! Severe storm increase! These are just some effects from climate change that are harming the Earth.

download (1)

Coastal islands! Polar climates! Heavy Populated Cities! These are just some examples of places effected by climate change.

Everywhere in the world is affected by climate change somehow. Even if the place does not see large affects now, it will in the future if we do not do anything to stop harmful impacts.

smpost_1517504989740Most of us know that polar regions are being affected quickly by the rising temperatures melting the ice. We often see the image of a sad polar bears on the melting ice in the middle of the sea to demonstrate the negative effects of climate change.

Oceans are rising and causing coastal islands and cities to sink just like Venice, Italy as I mentioned in a previous blog. Oceans are not only rising but are becoming hotter and more acidic. As in another one of my previous blogs, the acidic ocean affects coral and species’ homes. The Great Barrier Reef is a great example of a region being negatively affected by climate change and the acidic ocean.

images

When most of us think about regions affected by climate change we imagine these popular places that I mentioned above. Most of these places are out of the United States so people do not see these extreme impacts every day. I know that before I came to college and took climate courses I never thought about my negative choices that are harmful to the environment like using paper bags every time I go to a store, not recycling, or driving when I could walk. Maybe this is because I am not reminded every day about our climate changing because the places around me do not show a great change as of right now. Is that how others feel? Are the people that are in great danger and are reminded about climate hazards everyday the only ones that think about climate change every day?

In my last blog I gave an example of a place in the United States that is seeing results of climate change. Yellowstone National Park is being affected by temperatures causing and early spring, the evaporation increases shrinking lakes and ponds that are animals’ drinking water, and insects destroying forests. These impacts can result in a tourism of the national park to decrease. People do not want to come see a park with no trees, animals, or snow in the winter.

For this blog I will be discussing another national park in the United States that is seeing negative results from climate change and will compare it to Yellowstone National Park. I will be discussing Mesa Verde National Park and the climate change impacts effecting tourism.Cliff_Palace-5-lge1.jpg

Mesa Verde National Park is located in Colorado and has tons of history within its 40 plus more miles. The national park is home to some of the best preserved historical sites. The Mesa Verde National Park has about 5,000 archaeological sites with 600 of them being cliff dwellings. The Ancestral Pueblo people made this area their home in 600 AD.

f528f65121

Mesa Verde National Park went from 27 visitors in 1906 to 613,788 visitors this past year. Statistics shows in 2015, 547,325 visitors spent $55.4 million in the communities surrounding the park. This is a much lower amount than the statistics in 2016 of Yellowstone National Park bringing in $524.3 million to local communities, but it is still a large chunk of money helping the local economy. The Mesa Verde National Park’s visitors’ revenue supports about 814 local jobs. Altogether, this national park benefits the local economy by $66.8 million.

“Mesa Verde welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world.” “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides.  We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers.  National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well.  We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

-Superintendent, Cliff Spencer.

Just like the Yellowstone National Park, Mesa Verde National park is being impacted by the effects of climate change. Glaciers on the mountain tops are melting, the native birds are changing their migration routes, and precipitation patterns have and are continuing to shift. Wildfires, cliff disintegration, loss of water, and invasion of different species are said to be some of the biggest climate threats on the park. Temperatures in Colorado have increased about 2 degrees in the last two decades. Researchers have predicted that in 20 years from now there will be a significant increase in wildfires due to lower elevations having summer length increase by one to three weeks. Just like Yellowstone, Mesa Verde is experiencing a bark beetle outbreak that is destroying the trees.

Mesa-View-Mesa-Verde-National-Park-Harry-Wade-OutThere-Colorado-1100x698

In a previous blog of mine I discussed how Hoi An, Vietnam and Venice, Italy are losing the history within the cities due to climate change. Well the same thing is happening to this national park.

“You don’t hear very much about the cultural resources threat from climate change” “You think about the effect on natural resources, but the fact that there can be this amount of exposure that’s degrading an ancient resource, that’s surprising and gets people’s attention. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, how can this be?’”

-Colorado program manager for National Parks Conservation Association, Vanessa Mazal.

4d53e16a7334ec34126738759545cb60

Wildfires do a great damage to artifacts. Fires have been said to scar some ancient stone walls within the park. Mesa Verde National Park has seen about 12 wildfires burn more than 30 acres since 1906. These fires are destroying vegetation, trees, landscapes, surface sandstone layers, and petroglyphs. The fires cap the surface with a hydrophobic layer so when the water does rush over the land, it damages the artifacts and causes flash flooding.

67_nps_timelineimages_lff-2000b

Some ways archaeologists began to prevent the destruction of artifacts are by using natural matting and slit logs to slow runoff. Also, they place burned logs on slopes above cliffs dwellings to prevent eroding from water on the structures. They use silicone to redirect water flow downward away from the cliff facings.

To prevent the likelihood of lightning strikes causing wildfires, the park cut down small shrubs and trees. They also thinned out forest near prime attraction locations like cliff dwellings or flammable artifacts. So actions are being taken to prevent the lost of the history but how about the lost of the park nature?

Vista-Mesa-Verde-National-Park-Harry-Wade-OutThere-Colorado-1100x526

If all of the park’s history is destroyed, then will there still be a Mesa Verde National Park? What if the land is destroyed as well, then what would happen to the local communities around? These are some questions to ask when considering whether or not we do something to prevent climate change.

 

https://www.edf.org/climate/how-climate-change-plunders-planet

https://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm

http://www.mesaverde.com/

https://www.nps.gov/meve/learn/management/statistics.htm

https://www.nps.gov/meve/learn/news/16_17_tourism_to_mesaverde_creates_economic_benefits.htm

https://www.npca.org/articles/1622-an-uncertain-future

https://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/climate-change-threatens-nations-largest-archaeological-site

Yellowstone National Park

According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

 “Climate refers to the mean and variability of different types of weather conditions over time, with 30 years being typical period for measurements, although shorter or longer periods also may be used.”  

“The term climate change thus refers to a change in the mean or variability of one or more measures of climate (e.g., temperature or precipitation) that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer, whether the change is due to natural variability, human activity, or both.”

For my last three blogs I have focused on locations outside of the United States. Places where people may have heard of before but may not have known they were impacted negatively by climate change. I examined the affects that climate change has on their tourism and the natives. I also discussed ways they prevent disasters from occurring and destroying buildings, land, and lives. My next three blogs will now focus on places impacted by climate change here in the United States and how they prevent disasters and lost of tourism income. This fourth blog is focused on the Yellowstone National Park.

1A1DFCF3-1DD8-B71B-0BA531411585446E

Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first national park. It is located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It covers about 28,000 square miles. This park has canyons and geysers like “Old Faithful.”maxresdefault Visitors sometimes gets to see bison, bear, and elk at this national park. There is a variety of terrestrial, aquatic, and microbial life within the park.

Yellowstone National Park received about 4.25 million people in 2016. These high numbers of tourists supply a huge, positive impact in the local economy. The national park visitor’s in 2016 spent about $524.3 million in local communities near the park. This supports about 318,000 local jobs and revenue about $680.3 million for the local community. This revenue benefits the United States economy by around $34.9 billion.

Sunrise, West Thumb Geyser Basin

“Rising global temperatures are expected to raise sea levels, and change precipitation and other local climate conditions. Changing regional climate could alter forests, crop yields, and water supplies. It could also affect human health, animals, and many types of ecosystems. Deserts may expand into existing rangelands, and features of some of our National Parks and National Forests may be permanently altered.”

NASA (February 1, 2005)

               This statement is true for Yellowstone National Park!

F5EEF735-1DD8-B71B-0B94EF3D7E67ED6BHiResProxy.jpg

Similar to the places mentioned in my previous blogs, Yellowstone National Park is being negatively affected by climate change. In the 20th century, the park has experience increased temperatures in the winter, decreased snowpack, decrease snow to rain ratio, and earlier spring streamflow. In 1950-2005, spring warmth has shifted ten days earlier than usual. In the past 50 years, there are about 30 less days per year of snow on the ground.

The warming temperatures will cause evaporation of water to increase. The decrease in snowpack and precipitation due to climate change can decrease the amount of ground and surface water. This will cause many species to lose their homes or source of water and then have to relocated away from the park. Because of the decrease in snow season, vegetation growing season will be expanded. People may think this will help the national park, but it does not. This is because the park will most likely become less dense and have more diverse age structure. 45059D15-1DD8-B71B-0B04DFE32A063605ThumbXLrgIt is projected that the park will have less tree coverage and potential migration of new species (e.g. Ponderosa pine). The high temperatures and drought stress can cause a die-off for some vegetation. Also, the increase number of wildfires from the effects of droughts and high temperatures are destroying the trees. The park is surrounded by trees so when they are being destroyed the park is as well. Many animals are losing their homes due to the tree loss.

CB47A0E6-1DD8-B71B-0BCAD0476C96F115

Some of the animals in the park like moose, beaver, trumpeter swans, and sand hill cranes will have to find a new place for water.

 

 

Foxes are having to adapt to the harder snow surfaces which eliminates their access to rodents in the ground.

Grizzly bears are starting to den later because of the warm temperatures.

 

Wolverines in the park depend on deep snow to build their dens in.

The change in time of spring runoff can disrupt native fish spawning.

Another issue caused from climate change is the outbreak of insects. The bark beetles kill trees within the Yellowstone National Park. The mountain pine beetle increased in from 1,000 to 1000,000 acres in Wyoming from 2004-2008. These mountain pine beetles kill whitebark pine trees within the park.

Scientists, technicians and analysts are studying the Yellowstone National Park and examining the measurements of climate change. There are five branches all working together:

  • Geology Program
  • Spatial Analysis Program
  • Air Quality Program
  • Soundscape Program
  • Climate Change Program
  • Water Resource Program

The geology scientists monitor chloride concentrations in water systems and changes in heat output within the park. The technicians and analysts for spatial analysis provides mapping and spatial data for the park to understand how resources may be interacting with others.  The Yellowstone staff monitors the water, air quality, natural soundscapes, and develops a management plan for the winter.

I would love to visit the first national park someday. Just seeing pictures of the beautiful, nature-filled Yellowstone National Park draws me into wanting to visit. I love wildlife and seeing the different creatures in their own habitat, with all the beautiful vegetation surrounding the park. But the Yellowstone National Park’s climate is changing. I feel rushed to visit the park before insect, wildfires, etc. destroys its beauty and wildlife. If the park lost its beauty and the wildlife from climate change causes, then I would not want to go waste my time to visit a park that looks like my backyard. I would pick a different national park that is not affected by climate change… yet. Do others have this mindset as well? How would the lost of tourism that the park provides effect the economy of the local surrounding areas?

Yellowstone-National-Park-Wyoming-Montana-Idaho-photo-1

https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/climate-change.htm

https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/changes-in-yellowstone-climate.htm

https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/climate-examine-evidence.htm

https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/global-climate-change.htm

https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/who-we-are/sustainability/why-it-matters/

https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2016/11/yellowstone-and-climate-change/

http://www.patrickgonzalez.net/images/Gonzalez_climate_change_Yellowstone_NP.pdf

https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/news/17020.htm

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/noaa-n/climate/climate_weather.html

https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/management/physicalclimate.htm

https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/index.htm

 

 

Hoi An, Vietnam

In my recent blogs, I mentioned two places that most people may be familiar with, The Great Barrier Reef and Venice. For this next blog, I want to focus on a location that is not as popular. Bellow, I will talk about Hoi An, Vietnam and its culture and tourism, and how climate change plays a negative role in them.

Hoi An, Vietnam is an ancient town founded in the 15th century. It is located in the province of Quang Nam near the basin of the Thu Bon River. The urbanized sections of the town are between 0-15 meters above sea level. The low-level elevations near the river often experiences erosion. On average, about two high tides per day occur off the coast and raises 1.4 meters above sea level. The town’s average daily temperature is 25.6°C and has about 147 rainy days throughout the year.

This town was a trading port for Southeast and East Asia to trade with the rest of the world. This is an example of a town that is well preserved with a Chinese and Japanese style. Hoi An has 1,107 timber frame, and wooden or brick buildings. The buildings are repaired when needed, but never replaced by concrete or cement. There are preserved architectural monuments, religious buildings, open markets, and a ferry. The original street plan of this town remains and a wooden Japanese bridge from the 18th century exists. Today, Hoi An is still a trading port town and a commercial center. site_0948_0015-360-360-20120828121813site_0948_0016-360-360-20120828122028site_0948_0034-360-360-20150114165538

 

 

The town’s population consists of about 90,265 people over the land of 6,171 hectares. There is a population growth rate of about 1.36 per year. This ancient city gets a high number of tourists, that visit with the average stay of 4.2 nights for international tourists. In 2010, tourism, commerce, and services represented 59.7% of economic growth in Hoi An. Between 2003-2010, the visitor growth was 21% per year. Tourism drives this city’s economy and many livelihoods are dependent on it. There are a variety of activities to do in Hoi An, with about 800 preserved ancient homes dated back to the 16th and 17th century that visitors can explore. Because of these buildings, Hoi An was recognized as a World Heritage Site.site_0948_0003-360-360-20151104113243

In many ways, this town is affected by the changes in the climate. In the past 50 years along the coastline, Vietnam’s sea levels have risen about 20cm. Hoi An often experiences flooding but has worsen due to the increase in storm surges. Some effects of these storm surges are: local landslides, high winds, flash flooding, and coastal flooding. In 1998 waters reached 2.99 meters above sea level; and in 1999 waters reached 3.21 meters above sea level.

site_0948_0023-360-360-20140107172022

The damages that climate change is having on the town of Hoi An, Vietnam is not only affecting the locals, but also the number of tourists that visit. Even though there was a gradual increase from 2002-2010, there was a decline in visitation in the coastal regions in 2015 due to beach erosion. The high waters and damaging winds can often create damage to the historical buildings within the town.  The beach erosion can cause a negative impact on resort attractiveness, room rates, and property values for the town.

The decrease in visitation can affect Hoi An’s economy. The highest cost for a whole trip for the tourist visiting this town is about $395.8 US. This is huge for the economy! If the tourist counts decreases, then there will be a large correlation in a decrease of the town’s economy. Interviews with officers of a resort that is affected by beach erosion stated that there was a 70% decline in visitation in 2014.

Capture b3

The biggest issue for Hoi An is the danger that the residents are in when climate changes worsen. On November 4, 2017, Typhoon Damrey hit the town. Many were killed during the landslides and when a ship capsized. Rescue teams reported 89 people dead, 174 injured, and 18 missing. The Thu Bon River overflowed and flooded the streets. This was the 12th major storm of the year. A drone captured the footage of the streets under water. An owner of a local restaurant that was flood for four days said:

“The damage for us is that there were many tourists who came but we could not serve them.”

-Nguyen Thi Uyen

 

There is still a wait on long term solutions to occur to protect against climate change. For now, provincial governments, private-sector businesses and communities are adapting. An example of a public-sector solution is the construction of the dike that helps protect the areas that are in danger of high damage of road erosion. This is a costly project of about $5.5 million US. An officer of Hoi An City’s People’s Committee commented:

“The embankment is one of the city’s seven projects in the fight against climate change. We will also dredge rivers and upgrade roads.” (May 2015)

Some implements that the people and businesses are providing are pillars and sandbags to prevent wave damages. A $357,000 US investment of Nipa palm forest is expected to be planted along the Thu Bon River to protect the town from sea erosion to reduce sand drift on the beach. Many communities are attempting to provide coastal forests to prevent coastal and riverbank erosion and the application of crop rotation help salinity.

Capture

Three major issues with administration for Hoi An’s adaption to climate change:

  1. Lack of consistency and the coordination needed between the Climate Change Response Action Plan and the City Master Plan as the plans are being prepared separately with different objectives between the teams.
  2. There are gaps of knowledge and skill for the strategic urban planning among the local planners.
  3. The local governments have no mechanisms for increasing budgets of activities that impact the cause of climate change.

Are the plans really going to protect the whole town of Hoi An, Vietnam before there are long term solutions set in play? Also, these are some pricey ideas to save this town. Will these issues listed above be fixed? Locals are trying their best to prevent damages from occurring, but is the rest of the world giving the same amount of effort? That is a question as individuals that we could ask ourselves.

 

site_0948_0031-360-360-20150114165536

 

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/948

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/apr/26/top-10-things-to-do-hoi-an-vietnam-temples-pho-beaches

https://www.uncclearn.org/sites/default/files/inventory/unhabitat102.pdf

https://books.google.com/books?id=88FKDwAAQBAJ&pg=PR6&lpg=PR6&dq=25.+Hoi+An+Ancient+Town,+Vietnam+And+climate+change&source=bl&ots=4C8x7zR1E5&sig=-evHs8YBQVyTa3H4wxfcXyGeRNg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjhwtGNnPLZAhVCs1kKHY7gDe4Q6AEIdjAM#v=onepage&q=Hoi%20An%20&f=false

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-08/drone-footage-captures-vietnam-typhoon-aftermath/9131798

Venice and The Lagoon

Venice, Italy has history within the city, with buildings containing works done by some of the world’s greatest artists. The city was founded in the 5th century and its massive architecture demonstrates Byzantine, gothic, renaissance, and baroque styles throughout the city. Venice is given the name the ‘Floating City’ because it consists of 118 small islands connected by 182 canals and about 338 bridges. You may ask “why would you build a city surrounded by water?”. The advantage of Venetian Lagoon was the protection from enemy invasions in the past centuries. Is the advantage back then a disadvantage today? Will the city that floats become the city that sinks? Before focusing on the threat that Venice could be facing, let us look at the tourist the city receives.

Venice is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. In 2014, Municipality of Venice did a study showing that Venice received an estimate of over 9,000,000 tourists per year. This was more than the amount Florence, Madrid, and Rome received in 2015. The number of tourists that Venice receives is so big, that the local population is declining because of it. The link below explains the Venetians frustration of living in a city where its streets and canals are crowded by 90,000 tourists. For the purpose of this blog we will worry more about the tourists and not of the locals. For we already know that if Venice is ruined, so will be the lives of the local people.

‘Venentians Frustration’ Link.

From 1990 to 2011, the number of cruise ships that visited Venice rose from 200,000 to 1.8 million. The revenue from cruise ships are huge to the Venice economy. Venice Port Authority explained how in the city, cruise ship passengers alone are said to spend about $170 million in U.S. dollars. Venice tourist population is increasing each year and so is the revenue brought in because of it.

  V3

With sea level temperatures and heights increasing, it is affecting the entire world in a negative way. The very small, but very attractive city of Venice, Italy is one of many places that are getting hit hard from the rise of sea levels. For centuries, this city has struggled with the sea and the lagoon maintenance from high tides and storms. Flooding was common for Venice. With sea level rising, the threat of high tides and flooding is becoming more severe. With an increase of flooding, buildings and art works are being destroyed.  This means history is being destroyed.

V2
In November of 1966, the worse flood recorded in Venice’s history occurred. This massive storm caused catastrophic damage to not only art work, but heritage damage as well. The city was under water about 5-6 feet of water. After this storm, Venice began to discuss how to protect the city from future floods. The Consorzio Venezia Nuova (Consortium for a New Venice) was created from Venice’s government and a group of engineer and construction firms.
In 1994, they proposed MOSE that was approved. I did not begin until 2003. MOSE (Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico) is the creation of barriers to protect the city. About 79 flood gates are created over the three entrances that connected the lagoon to the Adriatic Sea. The gates are planned to rise whenever a tidal wave is predicted to occur, holding back the sea waters. The MOSE project is planned to be operational this year (2018). This project is going to cost roughly EUR 5.4 (US $6.1) million dollars. This is a big price from peoples’ pockets that are having to pay on something that may not even work. Preventing sea level rise from destroying a city is a pretty expensive task.

V1.jpg

With climate change occurring, Venice is struggling to maintain the fabric of its buildings and character. Since 1897, Venice has seen the sea levels rise nearly thirty centimeters. Of the thirty centimeters, twelve centimeters were from land subsidence. This was ended in the 1970s to prevent Venice from sinking. Since then, sea level rises have been the main problem for Venice. The water is damaging the buildings and monuments that have been built there years ago.
The city was built with the buildings’ foundations being wooden stakes into the sandy ground and underwater. This was the platform for the buildings. Wood was an advantage, because underwater the wood was not exposed to oxygen that helped fungi and bacteria (that caused decay of wood) to survive. After years, the wood underwater hardens and turns into stone-like material. On top of the platform, brick or stone was used to build the rest of the buildings. With the sea levels rising, the salt that is getting in the bricks is causing them to dissolve and then recrystallizing. If the building is constructed with stone, the stone and marble is deteriorating from the water. The link below gives examples of famous buildings and monuments that are being destroyed from sea water.

‘Famous Buildings and Monuments being Destroyed’ Link.

With buildings and monuments being destroyed within the city, a piece of history is being ruined. If more buildings are destroyed, will this lower the revenue received from tourists? What would be made of Venice if the sea levels continue to rise and the new barriers fail to stop the sea waters from destroying the city. As of now, tourists are fleeing to visit Venice. This is causing locals to leave. A question to think about is if Venice is destroyed, then could tourist decide to flee to other parts of Italy lowering their local population?

V5

 
Some more questions to consider are:

  • Will the MOSE project save the city of Venice?
  • Is it worth spending all that money on a city that may not be fixable?
  • How long until sea levels rise to the height where the barriers cannot protect the city no longer?
  • What effects will this have on tourists?
  • Is the floating city a sinking city now?
  • How much danger are people in?

I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on saving Venice, Italy! Thank You!!

V6

http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-europe/construction-venice-floating-city-001750
http://www.urbanislandstudies.org/UIS-2-Casagrande-Venice-Heritage-Tourism-Demography.pdf
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/394
https://e360.yale.edu/features/rising-waters-can-a-massive-sea-barrier-save-venice-from-drowning

The Great Barrier Reef

      In this blog, we will examine the importance of the Great Barrier Reef and how the affects from climate change impact marine life, tourism, and Australia’s economy.

GRB 2
barrier-reef-map1
The Great Barrier Reef is a beautiful and the largest inhabitants for many marine species. The Great Barrier Reef is located from the tip of Queensland, Australia to the north of Bundaberg. This large marine habitat stretches 2,300 kilometers and is home to about 600 types of coral, 1625 species of fish, 100 species of jellyfish, 3000 species of mollusks, 500 species of worms, 133 species of sharks and rays, and 30 species of whales and dolphins. This reef is important to the humpback whales because they migrate to the reef from the Antarctic to use as breeding grounds. Some endangered species that depend on the home of the Great Barrier Reef are the Dugong (Sea Cow) and the large Green Sea Turtle.

H
A humpback whale mother and her calf
T
Green Sea Turtle

D
Dugong (Sea Cow)

The Great Barrier Reef does not just attract species of marine life, but also attract people. This reef is a beautiful view above and below the water. Alone, the marine tourism industry generated over $4.288 billion in 2003 that helped Australia’s economy. The tourism generated from the Great Barrier Reef started to grow rapidly in the 1980s and early 1990s. The number of people that visit the reef increased by about 30% per year in the early 1980s. In 2005, there was also an increased number in cruise ships and yachts cruising to the Great Barrier Reef.
Now that we examined the importance of the Great Barrier Reef, it is now time to focus on the changes it is experiencing. One of the major effects that climate change is having on the reef is coral bleaching. Coral bleaching is when stress by changes in conditions (e.g. temperature, light, nutrients, etc.) expel the symbiotic algae living in the coral’s tissues and causing them to turn completely white. This is killing coral and reducing the habitats for a lot of species. Coral bleaching has been occurring due to the average sea surface temperatures rising from climate change. According to the Australian Government – Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, in 2016 sea surface temperatures in the winter remained above average and stayed there until the summer of 2017. This above average temperature change caused severe heat stress on the Great Barrier Reef, resulting in another mass coral bleaching.
CWM

Other than just coral bleaching impacting the Great Barrier Reef, severe tropical cyclones are damaging the reef. In March 2017, tropical cyclone Debbie estimated 28% of total reef damage in the Marine Park. This cyclone’s path that cross the reef was considered to be within the ‘catastrophic damage zone’. Some regions within this path exhibited 97% of coral loss.
Another example of climate change affecting the coral of the GBR is the ocean acidification change. According to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, much of the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide is dissolving in the ocean. About 1/3 of that carbon dioxide is from human activities, and about ½ is produced by the burning of fossil fuels. The carbon dioxide that is dissolving in the ocean is decreasing the pH levels and is causing the ocean to be more acidic. This acidity stops the coral from being able to absorb the calcium that it needs to support its skeleton structure. Other species impacted by the change in ocean acidification are snails, clams, and urchins.
Published on July 12, 2017, CNN stated that scientists are warning the nation that the Great Barrier Reef could be extinct by 2050 if nothing is done to save the reef. If the Great Barrier Reef becomes extinct then another thing to be consider is what kind of impact it is going to have on Australia’s economy. This coral loss from bleaching, severe tropical storms, and ocean acidification could cause a decrease in tourism. This could cause a loss of a multibillion dollar tourist industry. Let’s be honest, who wants to go see all white coral, no coral beautiful colors, and no marine life? No one! We want to go visit and site see the beautiful colors of the coral that the Great Barrier Reef has and all the fascinating marine life that lives there!
The Australian Government – Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority stated how national and international publicity of coral bleaching and the reef being damaged by climate change could create a negative impact on the tourism numbers. CNN released a statement from a woman who has been a scuba diver business operator since the late 1970s. Her and her husband’s business is located in the Whitsunday and Cairns region in Queensland, called “the Whitsunday Dive Centre”.

 

      “I really don’t know what to think. Obviously my business would cease to exist (if the reef became extinct). The number of people wanting to learn how to dive would diminish to the point where only one or two operators would remain”
           -Brenda Irving

 

CNN has reported the attempt to regenerate the Great Barrier Reef that has started to take place. On Monday November 27, 2017, CNN reported that Australian scientists have been optimistic about fertility treatment of coral to help rebuild the Great Barrier Reef. The Natural Conservancy states ten easy steps to help protect the coral reefs:
1. Conserve water.
2. Help reduce pollution.
3. Research what you put on your lawn.
4. Dispose of your trash properly.
5. Support reef-friendly businesses.
6. Plant a tree.
7. Practice safe and responsible diving and snorkeling.
8. Volunteer for a coral reef cleanup.
9. Contact your government representatives.
10. Spread the word.
Visit https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/oceans/coral-reefs/ways-to-help-coral-reefs/index.htm for more details on ways to help.

 

Is this going to be enough to rebuild the Great Barrier Reef to how it was? What can we do as individuals to help fix this problem? Is the Great Barrier Reef a ‘Lost Cause’? What affects will this have on Australia’s economy that depends on tourism revenues? These are some questions we need to consider. I love to hear your opinions on this subject!
Thank You!

L

http://www.greatbarrierreef.org/reef-experiences/
http://www.greatbarrierreef.org/about-the-reef/
http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/about-the-reef/reef-health
http://www.teachoceanscience.net/teaching_resources/education_modules/coral_reefs_and_climate_change/how_does_climate_change_affect_coral_reefs/
https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/05/economist-explains-3
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_bleach.html
https://www.cnn.com/2017/11/27/asia/australia-great-barrier-reef-coral/index.html
http://dspace-prod.gbrmpa.gov.au/jspui/bitstream/11017/656/1/climate-change-and-the-GBR.pdf
http://dspace-prod.gbrmpa.gov.au/jspui/handle/11017/137

About My Blogs

Hello Readers!
My name is Caitlin and I am an undergraduate meteorology student at California University of Pennsylvania. This blog site is created for my Global Climate Change class. I will be creating a blog every two weeks discussing the affects that climate change is having on a different tourism location around the world.  Please feel free to leave appropriate comments and opinions you have on each topic! Feel free to share each post with your friends as well!
Thank you for visiting my site!!
-Caitlin 🙂