04/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Archaeological Sites Endangered By Climate Change (SLIDESHOW)

The effects of climate change are so far-reaching that we don't often think about the cultural ramifications. That's where the journal Archaeology comes in: according to a recent story, climate change is doing a number on a number of sites and might make it harder for us to understand our past. From the story:

Rising sea levels are eating away at coastal sites, increased rainfall is eroding mud-brick ruins, creeping desert sands are blasting the traces of ancient civilizations, and the melting of ice is causing millennia-old organic remains to rot. "With climate change, we're feeling a sense of urgency," says University of Northern Colorado anthropologist Michael Kimball, who organized a panel discussion on climate change and archaeology at the World Archaeology Congress in Dublin last year. "It definitely focuses the mind."

For countless communities, archaeology can be a source of local identity, pride, and even income. "It may be intangible, but when a community loses its connection to history it loses something pretty important," says Kimball.

Check out some of the endangered sites here:

Endangered Archaeology