Climate Change Is Threatening American Monuments In The Worst Way Possible

Alap Naik Desai - Author

Jan. 4 2015, Updated 12:36 p.m. ET

Climate change has accelerated more rapidly in the last 50 years than it has ever before. Though the world has partially woken up to the quick, and at times severe changes in the weather, America’s most iconic landmarks are now at a much heightened risk of annihilation due to climate change.

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Despite facing the worst that Super-storm Sandy could dish out, Lady Liberty stood proud and tall. Flood waters and gale force winds pummeled the statue, but the symbol of American freedom didn’t have so much as a scratch on her, though the premises took a beating. However, scientists are concerned that next time, Lady Liberty and many of the other iconic American landmarks might not have a chance. Super-storm Sandy may have been the worst of them all yet, but unabated climate change will undoubtedly give birth to many more, equally fierce or even worse natural calamities, cautioned Adam Markham from the Union of Concerned Scientists,

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“Super-storm Sandy was worse because of climate change and we will get more storms and more extreme weather in the future. We focused on these landmarks because they are important to Americans – but they are also important worldwide. We just can’t afford to lose them.”

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Recent estimates put more than 20 other historic sites in the danger zone, where nature’s fury driven by climate change could wipe them out. Even if the forces aren’t enough to destroy them completely, experts predict super-storms could cause some severe damage to the architecture and infrastructure.

According to Markham, the United States government needs to take some concrete steps to fortify these installations since the damage to the troposphere due to climate change has been quite severe already. According to him, the government needs to erect additional barriers which are adequately fortified to take the brunt of fierce squalls in the near future.

“It is a giant investment; it takes tax resources. It’s a ‘put a man on the moon’ mission,” he said.

Ways to minimize the impact of climate change need to be implemented now, cautioned the union of concerned scientists. They are confident that proactive steps to stop climate change now, are perhaps the greatest gift the leaders of today can pass to the next generation.

While the other countries may be dragging their feet to reduce their contribution to climate change, America has renewed its commitment to curtail its carbon emissions. Fossil fuel emissions are one of the primary drivers of climate change and Obama administration has pledged to reduce emissions by at least 26 per cent below its 2005 level by 2025. But is that enough to safeguard America’s architectural testaments to time from the effects of climate change?

[Image Credit | Bryan Smith/New York Daily News]


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