UNESCO claims climate change threatens world heritage

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UNESCO (the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has published a report about climate change which claims that several sites of natural and cultural interest may be at risk.

The report Case Studies on Climate Change and World Heritage features 26 case studies from UNESCO's 830 listed World Heritage sites, including the Tower of London, Timbuktu in Mali and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The report's authors claim that changes in soil temperature and precipitation levels will affect the preservation of buried archaeological remains, while exposed sites (such as Peru's Chan Chan complex) are at risk of erosion and damage from changing weather conditions.

The report also described the danger to the historic built environment from rising sea levels. The City of London contains two World Heritage sites (the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey) that would face serious damage if the Thames' flood defences were to be breached. The historic centres of Venice and Prague are similarly at risk from flood damage. In contrast, ancient sites in Timbuktu and the Lebanon are at risk from desertification as a result of global climate change.

Climate change threatens UNESCO World Heritage sites -- UNESCO

UNESCO report 'Case studies on climate change and world heritage'