Five places to go before global warming messes them up



By John D. Sutter, CNN

Boats of people with snorkels typically launch into the reefs from Cairns, Queensland. If you go, tread lightly, Henson said. Visitors can damage the reefs if they get too close.

“It’s a feast for the eyes in terms of color, texture variations — it’s just amazing to see,” he said. “It’s wonderful to be enveloped in the warm water and look down just a few feet below at this amazing spread of ocean life.”

Henson said the reefs’ colorful displays are not to be missed.

(CNN) — Scientists expect some great travel spots to be altered or ruined by global climate change.

Some of the changes are already taking place. Others are expected to be seen in coming decades.

There are two ways to look at this: Either stay home (which might be less depressing and won’t add more airline emissions) or get a move on it and see the hot spots you just can’t miss.

For those who want to head out, CNN got advice on the best pre-warming travel destinations from Bob Henson, author of “The Rough Guide to Climate Change” and a writer at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Here are Henson’s top five choices:

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Warming temperatures can spell disaster for coral reefs, which depend on a delicate balance of ocean temperature and chemistry to bloom into colorful displays.

Many of the world’s reefs already are experiencing “bleaching” in which algae living in the coral die and leave behind whitened skeletons.

The Great Barrier Reef — which is composed of about 2,900 individual reefs and is off the northeast coast of Australia — is seeing limited bleaching now, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority expects the problem to grow in coming decades.


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