William West/Getty Images

Akhir dari Situs-situs Warisan Dunia

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – Lagi-lagi perubahan iklim memakan korban. Hampir seperempat terumbu karang di Situs Warisan Dunia Great Barrier Reef di Australia – salah satu ekosistem terkaya dan paling beragam di dunia – mati akibat pemutihan karang massal terburuk dalam sejarah. Bahkan di bagian paling utara Great Barrier Reef, kawasan paling murni dan jauh dari jangkauan manusia, kini hampir 50% karangnya telah musnah.

Perubahan iklim mengakibatkan kemungkinan terjadinya suhu panas di atas rata-rata yang memicu pemutihan ini meningkat hingga 175 kali. Ketika laut menyerap panas dari atmosfer, pemutihan karang besar-besaran seperti yang merusak Great Barrier Reef – di luar fenomena lainnya akibat kenaikan suhu – akan semakin sering menimpa hamparan terumbu karang dengan tingkat kerusakan lebih parah.

Masa depan sejumlah Situs Warisan Dunia yang tidak ternilai – dan tentunya bumi kita – bergantung pada seberapa cepat upaya penurunan emisi gas rumah kaca yang dipicu perubahan iklim. Sayangnya alih-alih melindungi situs-situs yang ada di negaranya dengan menerapkan aksi iklim yang kuat, pemerintah di banyak negara justru secara aktif mengutamakan proyek-proyek energi kotor seperti tambang batubara dan pembangkit listrik tenaga pembakaran batubara.

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