Daily Escape

Photo by Pete Rojwongsuriya / BucketListly Photos

Phewa Lake

Pokhara, Nepal

Stare long enough at Phewa Lake, and you'll get lost in the dynamic reflection of Mount Machhapuchhre and the sprawling hills of the Annapurna range.  Located in the Pokhara Valley, Phewa is the second-largest lake in Nepal.


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European Alps
European Alps

European Alps

Ever dream of skiing the high peaks and endless runs of the European Alps? Well, ski bunny, you better book your flight and hop on the gondola sooner rather than later. Because the Alps are at a lower altitude than many other mountain ranges, they are much more susceptible to the potential effects of global warming, and temperatures in the region are increasing at more than twice the global average. Some predictions give the glaciers only until 2050 before they disappear. 960 1280

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Florida Everglades

Florida Everglades

Encroaching development is just one of many threats to the Everglades, the largest subtropical wilderness in the US. Since 1900 the Everglades have been cut in half, and 14 species of animals that call its cypress swamps, mangroves and sawgrass home are now on the brink of extinction. 960 1280

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Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

The 118 small islands that make up the city of Venice have been sinking for centuries, but rising sea levels have caused many to wonder how much longer the Floating City will stay afloat. 960 1280

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Tuvalu

Tuvalu

The tiny Polynesian nation of Tuvalu, located halfway between Australia and Hawaii, could be completely swallowed by the Pacific Ocean if sea levels continue to rise. The highest point of the 9-island country (encompassing only 10 square miles) is only about 15 feet above sea level, and even a rise of a few inches could have devastating consequences for the tiny nation.  960 1280

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Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa

A change in rainfall patterns and an increase in land use have caused the Sahara desert to gradually advance southward. If the growth continues, it could drastically change the landscape of Sub-Saharan Africa. 960 1280

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Timbuktu, Mali

Timbuktu, Mali

The 3 mosques of Timbuktu in Mali, built during a golden age between the 14th and 16th centuries, are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Their walls are mainly built of mud, and any increase in temperature or rainfall could spell disaster for these incredible pieces of history. 960 1280

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Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia, Argentina

The pristine landscape of Patagonia in Argentina could look drastically different to future visitors. The awe-inspiring glaciers have already begun to shrink because of increases in temperatures and decreases in precipitation.  960 1280

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French Vineyards

French Vineyards

Better start stocking up on French wine. Temperature increases in traditional winemaking regions of France, such as Bordeaux, have caused winemakers to worry. Grapes are hyper-sensitive to climate change, and any increase in temperature could be detrimental to the vines … eliminating the production of varieties that have been a mainstay of the region for centuries. 960 1280

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Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro could look drastically different in our lifetime. The snow is rapidly melting, and scientists predict that it will only be white-capped for another 15 years. 960 1280

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Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

The state of Alaska currently has more than 100,000 glaciers, but 95% of them are shrinking. The global rise in temperature is happening much faster at higher latitudes, and Alaska’s annual average temperature is increasing twice as fast as the rest of the US. As Glacier Bay gets warmer, snowy winter scenes like this one will be harder to come by. 960 1280

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Tikal, Guatemala

Tikal, Guatemala

The structures of Tikal, one of the largest archaeological sites of the Mayan civilization, are mostly made of soft limestone -- soft enough to erode when subjected to rain and wind. Tourists aren’t helping, either; many have been known to leave with small stone “souvenirs.” 960 1280

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Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

The Monteverde cloud forest in the mountains of Costa Rica has become a major ecotourism destination because of its incredible biodiversity. Global warming, however, has scientists worried. Many have warned there will be a decline in the low-level clouds that this lush ecosystem is famous for, with the resulting rise in temperatures threatening many plants and animals. 960 1280

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Maldives

Maldives

Located southwest of India, this archipelago of 1,190 tiny islands and atolls is the lowest-lying country in the world, making it particularly susceptible to a rise in sea levels. Roughly 80% of the country is less than 4 feet above sea level, and many inhabitants live along the coast. If sea levels continue to rise, the Republic of Maldives will be the first nation to disappear into the ocean. 960 1280

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Zahara de la Sierra, Spain

Zahara de la Sierra, Spain

This small town in the hills of Andalusia is famous for its green mountains, pastures and olive groves. The temperature in Andalusia, however, is expected to increase along with the average annual rainfall, which would wipe out the orchards and lush countryside. 960 1280

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Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park has already undergone a significant transformation. The Montana landscape was once home to 150 monstrous glaciers; now there are only 27. Some scientists predict that they will be gone by 2030. 960 1280

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Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The world’s biggest structure made by living organisms, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. But the survival of the reef is threatened by rising ocean temperatures and mass coral bleaching, and it could be completely gone in our lifetime. 960 1280

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greenland, iceberg, top 10 natural wonders
Glaciers and Icebergs, Greenland

Glaciers and Icebergs, Greenland

Combine the world's largest island with a total population of only 55,000 and Greenland provides the perfect backdrop for a true bonding experience with nature. Rent a kayak, originally invented by hunters here, and row arctic waters past towering icebergs and glaciers. The waters provide a home to many whale species, including humpbacks with tails up to 16 feet wide. Outdoor excursion opportunities abound, from mountain climbing to hiking and angling -- just be sure to bundle up! Temperatures range from 20 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and much colder in the winter. Experience round-the-clock daylight during the arctic summer or watch the Northern Lights paint dazzling colors across the dark autumn skies. 960 1280
Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef's vibrant coral and fish form an underwater tropical paradise that promises the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the world. Spanning more than 1,200 miles of crystal waters along the coastline, the reef system is the largest and healthiest anywhere. Its isolation from the mainland will put you one-on-one with marine life, seemingly cut off from human contact. Australia offers countless other natural gems in the raw wilderness of its outback, so after exploring the depths of the sea, you can hop in a four-wheel drive and adventure in a totally different world. 960 1280
Grand Prismatic Springs, Yellowstone, Wyoming

Grand Prismatic Springs, Yellowstone, Wyoming

More than 1,000 miles of backcountry hiking trails through Yellowstone lead travelers to pristine areas rich with extraordinary wildlife and steaming, bubbling hot springs. Your chances at spotting an endangered grizzly or elk are pretty good -- the park is home to the largest elk herd in North America and one of two grizzly bear populations. You'll no doubt leave with everlasting images of the grand sweep of the rugged Teton mountain range and nature's fireworks leaping from the geysers. 960 1280

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Redwood National Park, California

Redwood National Park, California

Visitors here cannot help but feel awestruck by the unbelievable enormity of the coast redwoods, the tallest and oldest trees on earth. The tallest redwood on record, known simply as "the Tall Tree," is 600 years old and stands more than 350 feet. These majestic examples of nature, which can only be found in California and Oregon, take 400 years to mature and can live to be 2,000-plus years old. Emerging from the darkened paths on foot, bike or horseback, visitors may be shocked to find it is still daylight, and still the 21st century, in a place where time seems to stand still. 960 1280
Mt. Everest, Nepal

Mt. Everest, Nepal

The Sherpas and Tibetans worship Everest as Chomolongma, or "Mother Goddess of the Earth." Luckily you don't need to actually climb the 29,000 feet to the "Top of the World" to experience its magnificence and the beauty of the surrounding valleys and forests. 960 1280
Emerald Landscape, Ireland

Emerald Landscape, Ireland

Though all of Ireland's landscape is stunning, the southwest region shows visitors at first glance why this is called the Emerald Isle. Lush green pastures stretch as far as the eye can see, and the colorful hills are cut with winding streams. The Lakes of Killarney offer some of the most refreshing natural scenery in the south, which can best be explored by bike or on foot. Take the time to visit the picturesque small towns and villages, like Adare and Kinsale, whose charm and tranquillity will soothe the soul. 960 1280
Diverse Ecosystem, Costa Rica

Diverse Ecosystem, Costa Rica

Thanks to the biological influences of neighboring North and South America and the Pacific and Caribbean oceans, this small mountainous country is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Thousands of miles of roads and nature trails make it easy to experience the wide spectrum of habitats, from steaming volcanoes to the cloud-shrouded jungles and deserted beaches. A model National Conservation System protects Costa Rica's invaluable natural heritage, including 9,000 different kinds of flowering plants and more species of birds than in the United States, Canada and northern Mexico combined. 960 1280
Gran Sabana, Venezuela

Gran Sabana, Venezuela

Located within Canaima, a national park the size of Belgium, Gran Sabana is the plateau region between Venezuela and Brazil. The hauntingly beautiful landscape is dominated by the unique "tepuyes" -- flat-topped mountains with steep vertical walls. Tours by jeep and canoe are popular ways of seeing the most scenic spots, but to get the full experience, guided walking tours are the way to go. The dense jungles house exotic plant life, some 20,000 species of orchid alone, and several species of endangered animals, including jaguars and giant armadillos. The rock is some of the oldest on Earth, dating back two billion years, making it one of the nine most ancient geological regions of the world. 960 1280

By Paolo Costa Baldi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons  

Desert Sand Dunes, South Africa

Desert Sand Dunes, South Africa

The southern states of Africa have been the most successful in not only conserving its diverse wildlife, but also in offering visitors the privacy and isolation of intimate camps apart from the mass tourism more common in the north. You'll surely want to plan a safari in one of these regions where more than 90% of the continent's rhinos and the largest herds of elephants can be found. Africa's stunning landscape of coastal cliffs, enormous desert sand dunes and magnificent waterfalls have been shaped by over four billion years of geological activity. 960 1280
Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

A trip to these enchanted islands puts humans in a unique and humbling second-place position to the untamed plant and animal life. Here we are mere visitors to the inhabitants of the protected national park that covers 97% of the land area. The islands were named after the giant tortoises that bask boldly on the sandy beaches and mingle with their reptilian brethren, most notably the marine iguana -- the only aquatic iguana in the world. Birds are the most diverse and abundant on the islands, many having evolved into unique species that can only be found here. 960 1280

By Pete from USA (Bartolome View) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

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