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Pollution The potential for damage to historical monuments has already been realized. Some damage, such as from wind or rain, is unavoidable. However, pollution contributes additional risk factors that can increase the level of destruction. The effects may be minor, such as a blackening of the surface of monuments due to dust. Other impacts can have permanent consequences. For many historians the effect of pollution on historical sites is a daily battle. Acid rain and smog eat into marble causing small holes in the stone.
Acropolis is one of mainsites that is having thisproblem.
Acid Rain Acid rain occurs when fossil fuel emissions containing sulfur dioxide combine with moisture in the air to form acidic precipitation. When acid rain falls on historical monuments of limestone or marble, a chemical reaction takes place which has a corrosive effect on these structures. The reaction dissolves the material, leading to permanent damage
According to the National Climatic Data Center, global temperatures have risen during the past century at a rate of 0.11 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. The concern with historical monuments lies in the temperature impacts on the chemistry. Heat acts as a catalyst, speeding the rate of chemical reactions. The fate of historical monuments becomes more uncertain, and the urgency to take action increases.
Temperature The temperature changes between day- night and seasons bring about volume changes such as expansion and shrinking. Moreover, continuous temperature changes cause the cracks and breaks on stones as a result of the material fatigue.
Wind The seed transport and placement in the cavities and joints of roofs and walls by the help of wind factor sometimes causes to have trees (fig, ailanthus etc.) grown on the facades of many neglected historical buildings. This event accelerates the deteriorations on the monumental buildings. Additionally, if wind presents its harmful effects together with sea salts and sands, serious surface weatherings will be inevitable on the monumental buildings.
Contributing Factors Other factors contribute to the rate of damage to historical monuments. An increase in humidity provides the necessary environment for corrosive chemical reactions in the absence of rain. Likewise, changes in sun radiation can temporarily raise temperatures on the surface of monuments, mimicking the effects of global warming on a specific site.
The threat toGreeces ancientmonuments comesbecause the statebudget for culturalheritage has beenslashed and there arefears thatunprotected sitescould be looted orancient treasures left
Wildfires Forest fires are one of the most common and dramatic environmental disasters in Greece. Although forests may burn due to natural causes, the experience of the last decades provides evidence that the majority of wildfires in Greece are either intentionally set or result from the absence of forest management.
Mediterranean forests are vulnerable to fire, primarily due to the long, hot and dry summers, mild winters, strong winds, intense relief and flammable xerophytic vegetation. These natural factors are further exacerbated by the following:
Sewage Even though biological cleaning plants do exist. There still are many areas in Greece that have not been connected to this network. As a result industrial and domestic sewage end up in the sea, polluting the environment and transforming once beautiful beaches into waste dumps.
Foolish people Despite the environmental awareness that has been achieved to some extent in Greece it is a sad fact that some citizens do not adopt such practices. It is a common sight especially during the summer seasons to witness individuals and families leaving their rubbish behind after having spent a day at the beach or having enjoyed the Greek countryside.