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World's Monuments and Cities Under Grave Threat Due to Climate Change, New Report Details

The report does not bode well

Oh dear: A sobering new report—released jointly by UNESCO, the United Nations Environment Program, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, and recently written up in the New York Timesdetails the serious threat climate change and associated environmental instability poses to the world's great cities, monuments, and other designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The report, which examines potential damage to and degradation of major landmarks on every continent (31 sites across nearly as many countries, to be precise), omits Australia because, "[the Australian government] requested it be removed because of concerns that the information would hurt its tourism industry," the Times explains, which makes things sound especially dire there.

But little else is spared scrutiny here: The Times notes that places like Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. and Easter Island, the Chilean isle that's home to the massive carved-stone heads that generate serious revenue for the South American country (and have their own emoji), have already suffered the effects of global warming and will continue to see deleterious developments as the earth continues heating up.

New York's Statue of Liberty, which weathered Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the city of Venice, long known to be sinking at an alarming clip not helped by climate change, were name-checked in a portion of the study dedicated to examining the phenomenon's current effects.

This is perhaps the most chilling aspect of the report, though will hardly surprise anyone who's followed the Paris climate talks, or general climate change news with any closeness: Coastal monuments and, indeed, entirely low-lying cities have already begun to see a warming climate's effect on their ecosystems and economies.

You can read the full report from UNESCO on their website.