Global warming and environmental irresponsibility are taking a visible toll on natural resources all over the world. Major tourist destinations are not immune.
If you're still undecided about where to travel on this year's summer vacation (presuming gas prices and airfares don't dissuade you from traveling at all), consider some of the following destinations, while you still can. They might look radically different in just a few years' time if we continue on our current courses, and might not be tourist destinations at all.
Snorkel a coral reef
It doesn't matter which one. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that the world's coral could be extinct within 50 years due to warming ocean temperatures, pollution and ultraviolet radiation among other factors.
But some reefs are in even more acute danger.Several in the Pacific, including those off of Oahu are under siege from seaweed that has run amok as a result of local people trying to farm it, The New York Times reports. Caribbean reefs are being undermined by global warming, disease and hurricane damage. In some places, 90% of local reefs have disappeared, according to USA Today. Take a walk through Yellowstone Park
It's one of 12 national parks in the western U.S. that are undergoing radical changes from shorter, milder winters and other significant environmental pressures, according to a report from the National Resources Defense Council. Along with Rocky Mountain and Grand Teton national parks, Yellowstone is facing the biggest changes, including shifts in the plant and animal populations as new species invade and squeeze out old ones. Glaciers and snowfields, fishing, winter activities and archeological and historical features are also under threat, making it harder for us to enjoy these great resources that we have at our disposal.