Earth Hour takes place at the end of March this year, with the 27th the date we’re all asked to switch our lights off for an hour in order to raise awareness of the damage we’re causing the planet through climate change.
The movement, which was started by the WWF way back in 2007, is asking people around the world to turn their lights off and electronic devices (yes that does mean no slot or arcade play!) between the hours of 8.30pm and 9.30pm in order to call attention to climate change in what is an incredible vital matter for all of our futures, not least the many wonders of the world that are now endangered.
To mark Earth Hour, not only will our lights be going off on March 27, we’ve also pulled together some of the great natural wonders of the world that could be lost if change isn’t made…
The Everglades, USA
The Everglades in Florida is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to a huge number of birds, reptiles, and threatened species, including the alligators we most commonly associate with the national park. This haven for wildlife is in great danger though due to climate change, alongside the continued urbanisation of the state of Florida. The park was added to UNESCO’s list of endangered sites in 2010 and thousands of species of animals could be wiped out if responsibility isn’t taken to protect it.
The Amazon, Brazil
While deforestation is a major problem in the Amazon rainforest, which is of course a large contributing factor towards climate change, climate change itself is having a devastating effect on the rainforest which is known as “the earth’s lungs”. Climate change is leading to increased temperatures and changing rain patterns which is having an adverse effect on the Amazon and the wildlife, people, and fauna settled within it. It’s completely changing the ecosystem, which is leaving forests more vulnerable to fire as well as killing the elements within the rainforest that simply can’t survive with the change.
It’s a similar story in many other rainforests globally too, including the Congo Basin, the world’s second-largest rainforest which stretches across the likes of Cameroon, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
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The Great Barrier Reef is as large as both the UK and Ireland combined, but irreversible damage is being caused to this great natural wonder as global temperatures are continuing to rise. Over 1,500 species of fish live in the reef, as well as a third of the world’s soft corals. Many experts believe it’s unlikely to survive, with the average temperature by 2030 set to really accelerate the struggles the reef is having.
Mount Everest is seeing many of its glaciers melt as the average temperatures continue to rise in the Himalayas. The glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates and it’s not only having a knock-on effect to the likes of rising sea levels, but also the 1.1billion people the glaciers supply water to. It will eventually come to a point where the water levels can’t supply what’s needed to those downstream, while also the risk of flooding becomes also a serious danger in the short term.