78 Big Sur · California, USA
We have selected 100 unique places on Earth that are projected to undergo profound changes within the next few generations. We based our selection of the 100 places on the 4th Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Simply by drawing attention to the beauty of these places, 100 Places to Remember Before they Disappear creates an argument to preserve them. The 100 Places we have chosen to highlight, and the people who live in them, are in serious danger because of rising sea levels, rising temperatures and extreme weather events triggered by climate change. Among ambassadors are Joss Stone, Desmond Tutu for more info visit http://www.100places.com - Big Sur · California, USA California at its Very Best Stretching for 145 km along the Californian coast midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and extending 32 km inland, Big Sur is one of the most breathtaking landscapes the west coast of the USA has to offer. Its deep gorges cut through rugged mountain terrain, heavily covered by pine forests that reach almost to the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Big Sur is a natural wonder offering an astonishing biodiversity that includes many rare and endangered species. Until Highway 1 was built along the coastline in the late 1930s, Big Sur was an isolated and inaccessible wilderness. It was not until electricity was introduced after World War II that it started to attract a new generation of writers and artists that included Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, Hunter S Thompson and Orson Welles. Ever since then, Big Sur has enjoyed a reputation as an artisan, bohemian hotspot, and it is the setting for many novels, movies, poems and songs. Despite this popular status, it remains sparsely populated and has never lost its unspoiled isolation and frontier mystique. Less than 1,000 people live in these remote mountain forests, many them privately owned or part of state parks. The coastal area has a mild climate all year round, with dry, sunny summers and autumns, and cool, wet winters. For the last 20 years, most of California has been experiencing higher temperatures and a decrease in precipitation in spring and summer. This has led to a severe escalation in the number of large, dangerous wildfires, which threaten cities such as Los Angeles. During one major wildfire in 2008, 16 houses in Big Sur were destroyed and more than 13,000 hectares of forest were swallowed by the flames. A continuing rise in temperatures and prolonged summer heat would make wildfires more frequent and intense, seriously endangering the mountain forests of Big Sur and many other forests in California.