Rising sea levels to sink Nordic heritage site

Unesco-protected islands will need more protection

Rising sea levels caused by global warming look likely to destroy one of Norway’s most treasured Unesco World Heritage sites, The Local writes.

The Vega archipelago and its ancient fishing villages, positioned just south of the Arctic Circle, is at risk of sinking beneath the waves, according to a study showing how world heritage sites around the world may be lost over the coming centuries.

“When thinking about climate change, people usually think about ecological and economic consequences,” Ben Marzeion, the study’s author and climate scientist at the University of Innsbruck, told The Local.

“We wanted to add another dimension – what might the cultural impacts be? Culture is hard to quantify, but for the Unesco list there is general agreement that these sites are significant and worthy of special consideration and protection,”

Forty Unesco sites worldwide would be hit by rising seas over the next 2,000 years if global warning continues at the same rate, the study finds. If temperatures rise by three degress, as many scientists predict, then 136 sites would disappear.

The Vega islands consist of 6,500 small islands and shows how a unique ways of fishing and farming were practised there during and after the Stone Age. It was made a world heritage site in 2004.

The Local

[photo courtesy Visit Norway]

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