Thu, May 06, 2010
Sci-Tech > Science

Places to remember before they disappear -- America

2010-05-06 09:05:56 GMT2010-05-06 17:05:56 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Kauai, Hawaii, U.S. (Photo Source: huanqiu.com)

Caribbean Sea (Photo Source: huanqiu.com)

Recife, Brazil (Photo Source: huanqiu.com)

Chicago, Illinois, U.S. (Photo Source: huanqiu.com)

Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru (Photo Source: huanqiu.com)

BEIJING, May 6(Xinhuanet) -- The Newsweek has released a list of 100 famous spots in its latest issue and predicted all of them might disappear because of global warming and tremendous changes of geography.

The most famous of them are:

1. Kauai, Hawaii, U.S.

As the fourth largest of Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is one of the moistest areas on earth. Most of this mountainous island is bemisted. These lush and mossy forests are home to the colorful Hawaiian honeycreeper, an endangered bird species. Even the tiny fluctuation will cause large-scaled partial changes on the island, which put the islands' distinct ecosystem under severe stress.

2. Caribbean Sea

Four types of endangered sea turtles habit among the coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea. Rising of sea level and temperature of sea water, acidification of the oceans and extreme storms all can destroy the beach where the female sea turtles lay eggs and also threaten the coral reefs that turtles live on. Due to the temperature's influence on the gender of turtles, scientists worry about the decline in male turtles, which could threaten the survival of the species.

3. Recife, Brazil

Recife in northeastern Brazil is a business center and also a prime destination of tourists, who visit here for the pleasant weather and white beaches. Same as Rio De Janeiro and Argentine Buenos Aires, due to its dense coastal development, now Recife is highly vulnerable to the threats of rising sea levels, hurricanes and storm surges. The degeneration of coral reefs also exposes the whole city to flooding.

4. Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Since it was founded in the 1830s on the shore of Lake Michigan, the "Wind City" Chicago has become the center of transportation, industry, finance and entertainment in the Midwest of U.S. Nowadays, more than 9.5 million permanent residents live in the metro area, making it the third third-most-populous city in the U.S. In the coming years, Chicago will suffer from gradual increase in heat waves and flooding.

5. Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru

It is the awesome scene: massive ice fields and blue-white glaciers span about 70 square kilometers of the Cordillera Oriental mountain range. As the largest body of ice in the tropics, Quelccaya Ice Cap provides water to the streams and river flowing in the valley below. Since 1978, Quelccaya Ice Cap has already lost 20 percent of its surface area and could totally disappear till the end o this century.

6. Rio de la Plata, Uruguay

Fresh water from the Paran and Uruguay rivers collides with sea water from the South Atlantic Ocean in the muddy estuary of Rio de la Plata. This estuary feeds surrounding rich and fertile land, also provides the natural habitant for variety of endangered species, such as the rare La Plata dolphin. Climate changes may lead to flooding of the coastal area.

7. Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

Dominated by conifers and broad-leaved trees such as birch, aspen, rowan, and poplar, Quebec's Charlevoix region is a breeding ground for more than 200 bird species and paradise to caribou, lynx, black bear, moose, coyote, timber wolf, wood bison, grizzly bear, beaver, and other mammals. Rising of global temperature in the future will threaten the boreal forests and diversified wildlife in Canada.

8. Western Hudson Bay, Canada

For most of the year, the polar bears wander around the frozen Hudson Bay and feed on seals. In the western area of Hudson Bay, snow will start to melt in late spring. At that time, polar bears will go into hibernation, living off self-reserved fat, until the sea freezes again. But now the melting time in this area advances almost three weeks than it did in the early 1970s, limiting the endangered bears' access to food.

9. Mississippi River Delta, U.S.

Insurgent Mississippi River flows from north to south through the vast subtropical landscape of rivers, marshes, and low-lying barrier islands, finally into Mexico Bay. At the rim of Mississippi River Delta, the Chandeleur Islands form a natural buffer zone for the heavily populated coastal regions of Louisiana, which include New Orleans, against increasingly stormy seas.

10. Trinidad, Cuba

The town of Trinidad is renowned for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architectures. It has been declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Including Trinidad, the whole Cuba lies in the path of hurricanes, which always threaten the safety of local residents and colonial architectures. Now the Cubans are making efforts on reinforce buildings against more severe storms.

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