What popular tourist destinations could look like in 2050 due to climate change

What popular tourist destinations could look like in 2050 due to climate change

What popular tourist destinations could look like in 2050 due to climate change

From flooded cities to hellish wildfires and deadly droughts, gloomy climate reports constantly describe a world ruined by climate change.

But what would this actually look like?

Environmental specialist Marish Cuenca has partnered with DiscoverCars.com to create artistic depictions of tourist spots in just a quarter of a century from now.

London’s Big Ben looks straight out of a disaster movie, straddled by a mass of murky floodwater, while the Pyramids of Giza are home to a toxic urban landscape.

Palm trees of Hawaii have been ravaged by fire, while California’s Death Valley is so hot that the roads are melting. 

Experts at DiscoverCars.com believe their images could become reality in 2050, unless we take serious climate action and curb our emissions. 

‘With global warming continuing to have an impact on the planet, we’re already starting to see the effects of climate change,’ it says in a blog post. 

‘From the melting of glaciers in the Arctic to warmer summers than ever before, it’s safe to say that the environment is changing before our very eyes in real-time. 

‘With that being said, how might these renowned road trip routes look in the near future if climate change continues to progress at the current rate?’

LONDON 

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament is usually at the top of any holidaymaker’s must-see list when they visit London. 

But the artist’s impression shows our majestic capital in a sorry state due to the Thames having burst its banks. 

Westminster Bridge is barely above the waterline, while the roads in front of the legendary tourist attraction – officially called the Elizabeth Tower – are totally flooded. 

Experts at DiscoverCars.com say: ‘Due to rising sea levels, the majority of the London docks and any suburbs near the Thames are anticipated to be submerged by 2050. 

‘This will have a significant impact on some of the most prominent tourist attractions, including the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, and London Bridge.’ 

PYRAMIDS OF GIZA 

Egypt’s pyramids, including the largest, the Great Pyramid of Giza, were built an astonishingly long time ago – roughly between 2550 and 2490 BC.

Since then they’ve been relatively well preserved, but in the next quarter-decade that could seriously change, the artist impression shows. 

According to Cuenca, the threat of urbanisation means that much of the surrounding desert could soon be transformed into towns and urban areas.

This urbanisation which would remove the ‘rurality of the current landscape’ could be due to people moving away from the coast and further in-land. 

The pyramids are shown as crumbling piles, surrounding by smoke-emitting buildings and floodwater puddles. 

Sea levels rising will cause erosion to the limestone that makes up land in the area, which will cause damage to structures throughout Greater Cairo – not only the pyramids themselves. 

NEW YORK

The beauty of New York’s Central Park is matched only by its vastness – 840 acres (340 hectares) of green space. 

But large swathes of it will be underwater, just like most of Manhattan, experts predict. 

Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, which features an eight-foot bronze angel above four small cherubim, has burst its barriers in one of the new images. 

According to the NYC Panel on Climate Change, sea levels in New York are expected to rise between 8 inches and 30 inches by the 2050s and as much as 15 inches to 75 inches by the end of the century. 

STELVIO PASS, ITALY

One of the most iconic road trip destinations in Europe is Stelvio Pass, a mountain pass between South Tyrol and Bormio in northern Italy. 

This series of gradually inclining, winding roads allows tourists to travel by car across the Ortler Alps – a picturesque mountain range that offers fantastic views.

Unfortunately, due to the structure of the roads and their location along a mountain slope, the Stelvio Pass is at risk of damage due to landslides.

Warmer air can hold more water, so rainfall is increasing on average across the world, which increases landslides risk.  

HAWAII 

The beautiful island state of Hawaii is home to idyllic beaches, rolling green hills , thriving wildlife and even active volcanoes.

But as climate change causes extreme weather events, such as drought and increased rainfall, many of the coastal roads around Hawaii may collapse into the ocean.

In another one of the images, Hawaiian palm trees along the road are reduced to twisted skeletons, due to wildfires and eruptions. 

Although Hawaii is no stranger to having some dramatic volcanic eruptions, Cuenca expects to see a lot more volcanic activity across the island by 2050.

Increasing lava-flow eruptions and earthquakes are expected to cause significant damage to road surfaces – and could force locals to flee their homes. 

CALIFORNIA 

California’s Death Valley is thought to be the hottest place on Earth during the summer. 

It recorded the hottest reliably measured temperature in Earth’s history in July 2021 when the mercury hit 130°F (54.4°C). 

It’s also forecast to record Earth’s hottest ever temperature of 131°F (55°C) on Sunday. 

However, this may only be a taster of what’s to come by 2050 – as extreme heat waves cause mass drought and wildfires.

This heat could lead to roads melting, making road trips potentially dangerous, while wildfires could make visibility more difficult due to more smoke and ash in the air. 

KOLKATA, INDIA

Formerly India’s capital under colonial rule, the city of Kolkata is home to around 15 million people. 

Connected by a series of large roads, it is now famous for its Imperial architecture and a popular stop on a road trip expedition.

Sadly, due to its riverside and coastal position, Kolkata is likely to become mostly submerged by 2050, according to Cuenca. 

Rising sea levels as a result of the melting ice caps are already impacting the city, with frequent annual flooding causing damage to the region.  

DiscoverCars.com, which has published before-and-after images of 10 locations on its website, has given tips to drivers so they can travel more sustainably. 

Driving slowly and using a smaller car can reduce a vehicle’s carbon footprint, while an electric car rather than a petrol or diesel also makes a big difference. 

‘Although it can be concerning to think about the damage that climate change could cause to popular tourist destinations, it’s important to remember that it isn’t too late to undo some of the damage that has already been done,’ it says. 

‘By being more mindful of our driving habits when we travel, we can all help to reduce the impact of global warming and, hopefully, prevent these major-scale changes from taking place.’  

Source: What popular tourist destinations could look like in 2050 due to climate change

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