Antarctica is one of the world most pristine and delicate environments. Through this, tourism has become a major factor in recent years as Antarctica use to be inaccessible to tourists but now technology has made it possible to normal everyday people to visit the white continent. The effects that tourism can have on Antarctica are numerous and can lead to devastation. Threats are mainly pollution, oil spills, increasing tourism which all, in there own way, have, and will continue to have significant effects on the environment. Antarctica is also unique in the way that it has less pollution the anywhere else in the world obviously due to the lack of civilization and people, but as more and more tourists flock to Antarctica is has a gradual effect on the natural environment.
The reasons why it is so important to protect Antarctica is due to its unique features that are not found anywhere else in the world and if this us taken away, it will probably be gone for goof. It has a variety of unique and rich sources of flora and fauna, which has in the past lead to scientific medical discoveries ad is crucial for scientific research.
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As it was stated previously, tourism has played a big factor in the changing environment of Antarctica in the last few decades. The tourists flock to the area mainly due to the whole new sceneries never seen before which includes its unique wildlife and amazing scenery. Tourist numbers have increased over the last decade from 2000 to 14000 every year. Every single tourist that visits Antarctica counts as the environment is so delicate and human presence will usually result in some sort of negative impact, which accumulates to a big problem over time. Current ways in which Environmentalists are helping this is that they are informing the tourists and other people on how important and fragile the environment is and what they need to do to minimise the damage they are causing when visiting. It is expected that if something more drastically is not done within the next few years, tourism to the area will continue to grow significantly.
Some ways in which tourists disrupt the natural environment includes that they invade the animals protected areas, and in some cases litter is left behind and environmental souvenirs crucial to the environment are often taken. These problems, in recent years, have been dealt with accordingly as the problem continues to worsen. It is possible for governments to limit tourism from their countries but many are reluctant. In years to come the strictness of authorities will continue to rise as Antarctica becomes a more popular place to visit but at the moment there is no way for tourists to be prevented from visiting their countries territories in Antarctica. In recent years the negative effect that tourism has had on Antarctica has concerned certain Government and environmental organizations. Certain breeding grounds involving Antarctic species has shown a decrease in breeding habits ever since tourists have flocked to see them. Research was done into non-visited and visited areas and evidence showed that the visited breeding grounds have decreased I size and the amount of animals being bread.
Cruise ships are the ships used to make their way to Antarctica and as tourist numbers increase, so do the amount of boats being used and therefore increasing the likelihood of an oil leak which would be absolutely devastating the Antarctic flora and fauna. These ships also damage the continent itself breaking through the ice destroying icebergs in their way. The measures being taken to improve these ships includes new designs and operations being done on the cruise ships, which, include increased fuel efficiency resulting in less pollution as well as the crew must be extremely experience in their job and everything they do.
There are many concerns and factors today that are affecting the natural environment of Antarctica. Probably the biggest problem is tourism and this problem is on the rise and at the moment can only get bigger unless something drastic is done to stop the amount of tourists visiting and destroying the natural environment slowly and gradually. The past decade population numbers have tripled and the constant use of ships around the area breaking all the ice and the risk of oil spill put further pressure and havoc on the stability of the environment. Antarctica’s environment is extremely delicate and the slightest change can affect everything that’s why it is important for the government and environmentalists to do as much as possible to preserve the unique habitat. Global warming has also become a big problem and is occurring today as more and more pollution goes into the air we breathe. We must learn to understand how important this fragile environment is before we do anything about it because once it is gone it may be gone forever which could have devastating effects on the rest of the world.
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