UNESCO calls global warming the main threat to world heritage sites

(ORDO NEWS) — According to scientists, one in five historical landmarks and more than a third of natural places in the world may suffer or disappear due to the climate crisis.

Climate change has become a major threat to World Heritage properties. This was stated by representatives of UNESCO.

According to the director of the organization, Audrey Azoulay, there are 1154 world heritage sites in the world included in the UNESCO list.

Of these, one in five cultural heritage sites and more than a third of natural sites are at risk due to global warming and related natural disasters.

The last such example was the ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro in modern Pakistan, built around 3000 BC. In the summer of 2022, it was flooded during a devastating flood.

Archaeologists have noted that Mohenjo-Daro was not lost due to the skill of its builders, who built a kind of drainage sewer. The communications laid almost 5 thousand years ago diverted part of the flood waters.

In addition, in 2022, powerful forest fires swept through the Rocky Mountains in Canada, in Peru, landslides descended from the Inca city of Machu Picchu in the Andes, off the coast of Australia, part of the Great Barrier Reef became discolored due to warming water, and in Ghana, due to erosion of the sea washed away part of Fort Princestein, where in the 17th century there was one of the strongholds of the slave trade. The list goes on and on.

Researchers warn that climate threats will increase in the future. Warmer weather is helping wood-eating termites spread, allowing them to colonize areas that used to be too dry or too cold for these insects.

In other countries, soil drying due to reduced rainfall may have a destabilizing effect on some heritage sites.

In drought conditions, soils shrink and dislodge the foundations of buildings, and then swell dramatically during rains, which causes the walls to crack.

Expected water shortages in the future could also lead to increased conflicts that could result in the loss of important heritage sites.

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