Climate change has already been wreaking havoc across the world, but, according to a new study, NYC’s beloved Statue of Liberty could be its next victim. The UNESCO report, entitled “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate,” warns that the historic landmark, along with many World Heritage sites like Venice, Stonehenge, and the Galapagos Islands, are at risk of impending damage stemming from climate change.

Hurricane Sandy Damage

The 108-page report details the vulnerable state of some 31 UNESCO sites around the world. In the case of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, the paper references the severe damage caused by Hurricane Sandy that required almost $100 million in repairs. According to the study, if sea levels continue to rise at the predicted rates, future damage to Lady Liberty could be just as bad and most likely much worse than Sandy.

Related: One Year After Hurricane Sandy, Experts Warn of Worse Storms to Come

The report focused on the relationship between climate change, tourism and international World Heritage sites. To conduct the study, researchers looked at a wide range of climate impacts globally, researching 31 World Heritage properties in 29 countries to show how “climate driven changes currently, or could in the future, threaten their outstanding universal value (OUV), integrity and authenticity, as well as the economies and communities that depend on tourism.”

Citing the Statue of Liberty as an example, the paper mentions that the symbolic landmark could not only face potential physical damage, but also “the intangible cost of future damage to this international symbol of freedom and democracy”.

Via Curbed NY

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