No matter how many numbers and statistics I may use to describe climate change, I believe that photos truly capture the rate of how quickly our planet is changing, and sadly for the worst.
Here are a range of photos around the world that highlights how we are affecting our planet.
The Gateway to the Underworld – Siberia
The Batagika crater in Siberia is widening by up to 20m a year because of permafrost melting. This is an indication of the rate at which the world is warming and contains a large amount of methane, the greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide.
Impact on turtles
Climate change has an impact on turtle nesting sites by altering the sand temperatures which in turn affects the sex of hatchlings.
Flooding in South Asia
Heavy monsoon rains are intensifying due to climate change and this has led to disastrous floods and has left millions displaced in South Asia. People in these areas don’t have the necessary preparation and infrastructure to protect themselves from the floods.
Desertification subsequently leads to famine and food insecurity. When land dries out it becomes impossible to have crops. This causes poverty due to farmers not having income to support their family. Desertification has also led to ethnic and political tensions, leading to conflict.
Melting glaciers -Alaska
It is estimated that 10km of the North-western Glacier has retreated out of view. The small icebergs could be seen in the front in the 1920s – 1940s have retreated almost completely during the decades. Melting glaciers in mountainous regions are also affecting freshwater ecosystems.
Increased fish demand
By 2050, the world’s population will reach 9 billion and the demand for food will double. This causes a strain to food security and also how food production and distribution is threatening wildlife.
Clearing of rainforests
This photo was taken in Riau, Indonesia showing the rainforest being burnt to make space for plantations. It has been estimated that 13 million hectares of forests were cleared between 2000 – 2010.
Below this beautiful island, increasing temperatures have led to coral bleaching. Coral reefs provide food and shelter for a large amount of marine life, and for places such as Palawan, Philippines. Coral bleaching is becoming apparent, threatening these stunning ecosystems.
A powerful photo. This shows that even when drought is present, people still find a way to do everyday tasks. This photo was captured along the Silk Road in Northwesters China. It gives hope to renewable energy and its capability to power the world.
Air pollution is truly visible in this photo taken on the 15th March 2012. Record breaking levels of air pollution due to dirty air from the north of the country and traffic fumes led to stagnant air.