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Visit Dead Sea before it vanishes — Time

By Khetam Malkawi - Apr 14,2014 - Last updated at Apr 14,2014

AMMAN — The Dead Sea was listed by the Time magazine as one of the 10 places across the world that people are advised to visit before they vanish.

In a recent report, the magazine said the world is filled with jaw-dropping sights, “but rapid climate change is threatening some of the most spectacular natural wonders”. The 10 places cited are “just a few of the world’s most majestic places that could disappear in as little as a few decades”.

According to the report, the ancient and salty Dead Sea is the site of both history and healing. “Yet in the last 40 years, the lake has shrunk by a third and sunk 80 feet [approximately 24 metres],” it said, adding that experts believe it could disappear in as little as 50 years.

According to Bahjat Odwan, president of Jordan Geologists Association, the only solution to save the Dead Sea from vanishing is the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project.

The mega-project, the first phase of which will cost $900 million, according to official estimates, was designed to provide Jordan with part of its increasing water and energy needs, while at the same time prevent further shrinking of the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea, which is the lowest point on Earth, has been shrinking for decades, largely due to the diversion of water from the Jordan River for agricultural and industrial use as well as dropping amounts of rain over the past decade, according to environmentalists.

Odwan told The Jordan Times over the phone that there are other environmental risks resulting from the shrinking of the Dead Sea.

These include the formation of the sinkholes that are the result of a reaction between freshwater and salt buried in a subterranean level.

“The fresh groundwater will start dissolving salt and thus creating huge sinkholes that we can’t determine the size and time of their appearance and this is very dangerous,” Odwan explained.

Saving this natural wonder is a must before it is lost, the geologist said.

Other places that were listed by the Time are Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Venice in Italy, Glacier National Park in Montana, the Maldives, Seychelles, the Alps, Magdalen Islands and the Athabasca Glacier in Canada and Alaska.

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