The rise in the level of the oceans due to the melting of polar ice under the effect of global warming could threaten more than 13 000 archaeological and historic sites in the United States by the end of the century, according to a study published on Wednesday.
These researchers predict that these classified sites, in the south-east of the United States, could be submerged by a rise of one meter in sea level, if the waters continue to rise as predicted by climate models.
More than a thousand of these sites are listed on the national register of historic places.
These include vestiges of aboriginal people dating back over 10 000 years old, from Jamestown, Virginia, site of the first british colony to settle permanently on the american continent or of Charlestown, South Carolina, specify these researchers, whose study appears in the journal PlOS ONE.
“The rise of the ocean level over the next few years will result in the destruction of a large number of archaeological sites, buildings, cemeteries and cultural monuments,” said David Anderson, a professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the principal author of this work.
The coasts of Florida are particularly vulnerable if the ocean rises one meter, followed by Louisiana and Virginia, according to this research.
The researchers used topographic data from these sites and determined the risk of entrapment under various scenarios of a rising sea level.
In 2014, a report conducted by several research organizations including the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) estimated that about thirty of the high places, americans, like the Statue of Liberty and the Kennedy space Center was threatened by the rise of the oceans.
The rising waters and the threat of storms are also a hazard to the historic center of Annapolis, Maryland, and Boston, Massachusetts, to warn the authors that many other archaeological treasures on the rest of the world are vulnerable.
Nasa is already developing plans to protect the Kennedy Space Center and several other sites that could be affected by climate change.