Sweden’s Ice hotel
Yes, people actually pay to spend the night in this hotel, where you sleep on slabs of ice in sub zero temperatures. (More importantly, do you go to the bathroom on an ice toilet? These are the things people need to know before making a reservation!) If freezing your butt off (literally) sounds like a fun way to spend your vacation, better go soon. Thanks to global warming, shorter winters mean this crazy tourist attraction either has to move further north (and it’s already 120 miles above the Arctic Circle) or shorten its season. One plus side, the vodka in the solid ice bar is still really cold.
2. Ski resorts
Skiing may be for the posh set but it’s getting a bit less glamorous due to global warming. Thanks to higher temperatures and shorter winters the skiing season is shortening dramatically in both America and Europe, with many resorts bringing in man-made snow in order to open on time. Nothing says romantic getaway like sharing a cocoa under a soft snow fall…created by a huge, noisy snow machine. Fortunately, angry young people are responding in huge numbers…by joining this Facebook group.
3. Tropical Islands
This island of 10,000 people in the Indian Ocean is the first inhabited island to disappear under water due to rising sea levels. In 1998, the first uninhabited islands (in the Pacific nation of Kiribati) were submerged, but the drowning of Lohachara is both unexpected and unprecedented. Scientist did not expect a populated island to disappear until at least 2015. Now they are moving up their timetables. Other islands around the world are expected to follow suit shortly, including many popular tourist locations. Basically, if you want to see Bermuda, get your scuba diving certification.
4. The Great Barrier Reef
Located off the north east coast of Australia, this reef is visible from space and is one of the wonders of the natural world. It is a scuba diver’s dream to swim among the thousands of different types of marine animals and witness the amazing colors of the coral. Unfortunately, the corral that makes up the reef is no longer growing as quickly due to rising ocean temperatures. Scientists think it could be completely dead within 40 years. This in turn means that all the fish and other ocean life will leave or die off. So if you want to see it get your scuba diving certification (see, that will help for this AND Bermuda) and book quickly!
5. India’s Palace Lake Hotel
This is an otherworldly and incredibly romantic vacation destination in Udaipur, India. The sight of this huge white hotel seemly floating on a large lake has attracted some of the most famous celebrities in the world, including Mick Jagger and Madonna. Despite its supernatural appearance, the Palace Lake Hotel actually sits on a small island in the middle of a very shallow lake. There are no roads leading up to it and all guests arrive by boat. Or they used to, anyway. Thanks to one of the biggest droughts in India’s history (which experts believe is due to global warming) it now surrounded by mud for much of the year.
6. The United Kingdom and Ireland
In the summer of 2007 England had some of the worst floods every recorded. “So what,” you’re thinking, “I’m not going to expect good weather if I ever visit, that country is famous for rain!” But what if those rains were replaced by snow? Siberian levels of snow. See, the UK and Ireland are actually pretty temperate considering how far north they are located. This is due to the fact that the water that surrounds the islands comes directly from the Gulf of Mexico. Without getting into lots of technicalities, the water is brought there through currents called “chimneys.” There used to be six chimneys. Now there are two. If any more collapse (for lack of a better term) Britain will be plunged into Siberian temperatures. Does England have mountains? Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone and start skiing there!
A freezing cold glacier might seem like a weird place to take a vacation, but they are amazingly popular. There are expensive hotels located on glaciers in the Swiss Alps. The most popular and expensive cruises in the world sail past Alaskan glaciers. Almost 2 million people visit Montana’s Glacier National Park every year. The singer Seal even proposed to supermodel Heidi Klum on top of a glacier in British Columbia. Basically, if you haven’t hiked a glacier, you are missing out. While each glacier reacts differently to rising temperatures (the Indian government just released a study saying their glaciers are bucking the melting trend) in general they are shrinking, moving, and breaking up.
8. Rocky Mountain National Park
The Mountain Pine Beetle is only 5mm long but it is having a destructive effect on pine forests around the world. The beetles kill pine trees by drilling holes into them and laying their eggs. When the larvas hatch they inject a “symbiotic fungus” into the tree blocking the travel of its sap which will eventually cause the tree to die. This is happening amazingly quickly across millions of acres of trees in Colorado and British Columbia. Once green forests are now full of copper colored leaves. But what is so bad about a permanent autumn? That could be really pretty! Well, the dead trees also fall over at random, causing increased risk to hikers and campers. So what does this have to do with global warming? These beetles have always been a problem but when cold snaps came regularly they would die out more often, remaining only a minor nuisance. Now rising temperatures mean there are very few deadly freezing nights and the beetles thrive.
9. African Safaris
The Sahara desert is growing at an alarming rate, encroaching on towns and villages and displacing thousands of people and animals. Despite the precautions taken by a group of 28 African nations, scientists expect this trend to continue. The sand and heat will expand into previously lush grasslands, the prime place for safaris. The habitats for many of the world’s most amazing animals like lions, giraffes, and elephants will shrink and effect their populations. Right now it appears that some years the desert expands more than others, and considering the size of Africa this shouldn’t be a problem in your lifetime. But encourage your grandchildren to go while they are still young!
10. The Amazon
Visiting the Amazon was always a trip for those more brave individuals willing to risk death by anaconda, death by jaguar, death by poison frog, Black Caiman, Mosquito, electric eel, animals that haven’t even been discovered yet, and most likely a plant or two. Besides all that it is a very pretty, exotic place to visit. But only if you leave now. In 2005 and 2006 the Amazon suffered the worst drought in over 100 years. At the time scientist said the forest in its present state could only survive three years in a row of drought before starting to die off. While the rains returned in 2007, more severe droughts are predicted in the future. The increased temperatures combine with the wide scale deforestation also increase the risk of forest fires, further endangering the remaining rainforest. And the loss of the rainforest would drastically speed up global warming, making every trip on this list that much more urgent!