Five Places To See Before Climate Change Ruins Them Forever has an interesting article naming the five places that everyone should see before they are forever altered by climate change, which is already having an indelible effect on our planet.

This list was compiled by Bob Henson, the author of The Rough Guide To Climate Change, who wants to give travelers a heads up on the best places to visit in the near future, as they are also the most likely to see the most drastic changes in the near future.

The list includes The Great Barrier Reef, whose coral reefs are now threatened by warming waters, causing them to die at an alarming rate. The GBR is a popular tourist destination and is considered one of the best places to SCUBA dive and snorkel in the world, which has hastened some of the damage. With so many people visiting, and the environment already fragile, the likelihood of causing harm is increased.

New Orleans, Louisiana also finds its way onto Bob’s list for obvious reasons. Hurricane Katrina made us all painfully aware that the city sits below sea level and is precariously protected by a series of walls and levies. As the planet warms up however, and the polar icecaps melt, the sea levels are going to rise, endangering New Orleans further. It’s possible that the city may not even exist at all in the future.

Of course, the ongoing debate is, should we rush off to visit these places, as well as the other three on the list, thereby increasing the chances of those places being altered forever. Or should we stay home, and limit our footprint? That is a question that all travelers will be wrestling with for years to come.