28. Paris • France
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, Desmund Tutu for more info visit http://www.100places.com. The Birth of a Monumental City Most of modern Paris was formed in the mid-19th century when Napoleon III initiated the modernisation and rebuilding of the city, turning the old narrow streets and half-wooden houses into wide boulevards lined with neo-classical stone buildings. Today, the citys avenues and iconic monuments attract 45 million tourists every year, drawn by its balmy winter days and warm summer nights. The North Atlantic Current means that Paris rarely sees extremely high or low temperatures. Almost 12 million people live in the metropolitan area, making the city one of the most heavily populated places in Europe. In 2003, a heatwave struck Europe. It hit France particularly hard, especially the north, where people are unaccustomed to high temperatures. Summer temperatures reach an average high of 25°C in Paris but that year the temperature rose to over 40°C. In August, 14,802 excess deaths were recorded in the whole of France, with the ?le-de-France region, which includes Paris, accounting for a third of them. Many French families, physicians and family doctors go on holiday in August and many of the people who died were elderly people who had been left alone in their apartments. There were so many deaths that unclaimed bodies had to be kept in a refrigerated warehouse outside Paris. Across the whole of Europe, about 35,000 people died because of the heatwave in 2003. Temperature records were broken in Britain, Germany and Spain, while in Portugal forest fires destroyed 5% of the countryside and 10% of the forests. Towards the end of the 21st century, it is predicted that summer temperatures could be similar to those of the 2003 heatwave. By then, heatwaves will be even more extreme, which poses a risk that populations and authorities will need to address.