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La disparition des sites patrimoniaux mondiaux

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIE – Les changements climatiques ont fait une autre victime. Presque le quart du corail de la zone patrimoniale mondiale de la Grande Barrière de corail de l’Australie — l’un des écosystèmes les plus riches et les plus complexes au monde — a disparu cette année, dans le pire épisode de blanchiment de corail enregistré dans l’histoire. Même dans les régions les plus au nord du récif corallien, qui sont depuis longtemps à distance suffisante des pressions des activités humaines comme le développement du littoral pour que soit préservée, en grande partie, la santé des coraux, un époustouflant 50 % du corail n’était plus vivant.

La probabilité de températures de la mer au-dessus de la moyenne déclenchant le blanchiment était 175 fois plus élevée en raison des changements climatiques. Puisque l’océan continue d’absorber la chaleur de l’atmosphère, le blanchiment massif du corail qui a décimé la Grande Barrière de corail — sans compter d’autres phénomènes destructeurs entraînés par la hausse de la température — risque de devenir un phénomène encore plus fréquent et dévastateur.

L’avenir des sites patrimoniaux de valeur inestimable — et, aussi, celui de notre planète — dépend de la réduction immédiate des émissions de gaz à effet de serre qui sont à la source des changements climatiques. Pourtant pour bon nombre des États responsables de la protection de ces sites en leurs frontières non seulement ne prennent aucune mesure sérieuse pour épauler la lutte contre les changements climatiques ; mais de surcroît, ils appuient sans vergogne des projets d’énergie polluante comme des mines de charbon et des centrales thermiques au charbon.

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