Following closely on the heels of the Forbes article mentioned below, the World Monuments Fund has just published its biennial list of the most “endangered architectural and cultural sites around the world”. For the first time it has included sites threatened by climate change…

  • Herschel Island, Canada, home to ancient Inuit sites and a historic whaling town at the edge of the Yukon that are being lost to the rising sea and melting permafrost in this fastest-warming part of the world.
  • Scott’s Hut, Antarctica, a time-capsule of early twentieth-century exploration. Ironically, it is being engulfed by vastly increased snowfall thought to be a result of changes in the weather, changes the station was built to monitor.
  • Chinguetti Mosque, Mauritania, located in one of Islam’s seven holy cities and one of many sites in West Africa endangered by the encroaching desert.
  • Sonargaon-Panam City, Bangladesh, a former medieval trading hub and crossroads of culture, whose long-neglected and deteriorating architecture is increasingly threatened by flooding in this low-lying country, one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of global warming.
  • Leh Old Town, Ladakh, India, a rare intact medieval city in the Himalayan region, now trying to balance development and modernization with sustainability as its traditional architecture faces changing weather patterns, including heavy rains, that it was not built to withstand.
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, whose historic neighborhoods, already pummeled by Hurricane Katrina, are now struggling to restore homes while also preparing for future challenges posed by rising sea levels and the likelihood of stronger storms.
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