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Historic Mediterranean cities in danger from climate change

Updated 11:15 AM ET, Tue October 16, 2018
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The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, is one of 156 World Heritage sites in the coastal Mediterranean endangered by the effects of climate change, according to a study published in Nature Communications. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Cathedral in the "Square of Miracle" in Italy are in danger of flooding by 2100 due to climate change, says a study by the Coastal Risks and Sea-Level Rise Research Group. Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Rising sea levels and increasing erosion, the study said, may endanger historical icons such as this petrified victim of the volcanic eruption of Mont Vesuvius in 79 AD at the archaeological site of Pompeii, in Italy. MARIO LAPORTA/AFP/Getty Images
Like Split, Croatia, many of the endangered World Heritage sites sit on or near the water. Our ancestors choose to build there because of the access to fishing and commerce. Luis Davilla/Cover/Getty Images
Venice is one of the cities at highest risk of destruction by the effects of climate change. Rising sea waters have flooded the city for centuries, but the study's projections show it could face 8 foot high floods due to rising sea levels within 80 years. Raquel Maria Carbonell Pagola/LightRocket/Getty Images
Due to the steep topography of many of the sites clustered along the Mediterranean Sea, most cities, then and now, were built at the water's edge. Mahaux Charles/AGF/UIG/Getty Images
The Avenue of the Knights in the medieval Old Town of Rhodes, Greece, is also in danger. "If our common heritage is destroyed or lost, it is not possible to replace or rebuild it," said lead study author Lena Reimann, a doctoral researcher for the Coastal Risks and Sea-Level Rise Research Group in Germany. VW Pics/UIG/Getty Images
Dubrovnik, a 16th-century citadel and tourist spot on Croatia's Adriatic Sea, is another of the region's most endangered historical sites. Leisa Tyler/LightRocket/Getty Images
In the Israeli port city of Haifa, future erosion from rains and rising sea levels will eat away at the foundations of such wonders as the terraced gardens and the golden Shrine of Bab. JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images
The beautiful villages in the "Cinque Terre" area of Italy are at high risk by the year 2100 from erosion caused by climate change, according to the study. OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images
The ancient city of Ephesus is one of the sites in greatest danger from future erosion caused by climate change, said the study. Ephesus was an Ancient Greek city, but excavations of the site have revealed grand monuments from the Roman Imperial period including the remains of the famous Temple of Artemis, the Great Theatre and the Library of Celsus. Bai Shi/Imaginechina/AP
Underground areas, such as the vaulted cellars of the Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian in Split, Croatia, would be hard hit by the rising sea levels caused by climate change. Cristina Arias/Cover/Cover/Getty Images
Countries facing economic or social disturbances might find it difficult to allocate resources to protect world treasures such as Istanbul's famous Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, Turkey. Chris McGrath/Getty Images