Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York
Photo credit: Roberto Machado Noa // Getty
The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island, the 14-acre spot of land on which she stands, are dangerously exposed to the elements. In October 2012, Lady Liberty was left largely unscathed by Hurricane Sandy's storm surge, but 75 percent of the island was flooded. "It was total destruction: windows blown out, doors blown out,” said David Luchsinger, superintendent of the statue. Even if the Big Apple dodges another Sandy-size hurricane before 2100, a report published last month in the journal Environmental Research Letters concluded that 750 UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the French statue, could be swamped by climate-change-induced sea level rise unless action on flood defense is taken. "It's relatively safe to say that we will see the first impacts at these sites in the 21st century," lead author Ben Marzeion told The Guardian.