As extreme weather continues to strike cities across the world, how can we effectively show the damage climate change is doing to our planet?
These photos illustrate the state of the planet and our climate as it has changed over the past decade.
In this drone image taken in May 2020, drought dries out spruces in Germany’s Harz mountain region. For the past several summers, there has been only a small fraction of rainfall compared with normal conditions, stressing forests across Germany, and making them more susceptible to pests.
Such droughts have grown more common in Germany, and many scientists attribute the trend to global warming.
Very green water
A fisherman in a rubber boat is surrounded by rotting cyanobacteria in the Kyiv Water Reservoir near Kyiv, Ukraine, on November 15, 2020.
The region was rocked by extreme hot weather throughout 2020, resulting in widespread damage to agricultural crops and destruction to the natural habitat of some species.
Climate change in America
In this photo from October 11, 2021, houseboats on Lake Oroville in Oroville, California sit far below the old coastline — a stark illustration of the historic drought gripping the American West.
Another day, another fire
The Alisal Fire, near Goleta, California, prompted freeway closures and evacuations on October 12, 2021.
The flames were fueled by high winds over drought-stricken land.
Change in America
Here, firefighters work the 2020 Creek Fire in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The fire burned more then 379,000 acres, one of the largest wildfires in state history.
A tourist pier in Suesca, Colombia, gets little use, thanks to the extremely low water level, on March 12, 2021.
According to experts, the desiccation is due to climate change.
Severe coastal erosion
Here’s a view of a landslip on a cliff edge and beach in the village of Happisburgh, England, on January 27, 2021.
Global climate change, and resulting storms and sea swells, has cost the east coast of the United Kingdom up to one meter of coastline annually.
Deadly floods, caused by historic rainfall, struck Germany in July. This photo, shared on Twitter by officials in Cologne, shows flooding in Erftstadt-Blessem. Nearly two month’s worth of rain fell over the region in a single day. Many homes were swept away, and 170 people died.
Climate change weakens forests
Dried-out forest land is more susceptible to pests like the bark beetle. Tens of thousands of woodland ecosystems in North America and Europe have been — perhaps permanently — ravaged by bark beetles and related insects.
Here, bark beetle feeding channels are seen on a dead spruce in the Harz mountain region on May 7, 2020, near Wernigerode, Germany.
Mass fish death
This photo shows dead fish piled up on Lake Nasser, south of Wadi Halfa, on the border between Sudan and Egypt.
A prolonged heat wave lowered the lagoon’s oxygen levels, provoking the death of several tons of fish.
A malnourished cow walks along a dried up river bed in the village of Chivi, Zimbabwe, in January 2016.
The U.N. weather agency blames the dry, hot weather on an “increasingly visible human footprint.”
Winters are becoming milder in northern Norway, causing snow to melt as temperatures rise above freezing.
This photo shows the village of Steigen, well inside the Arctic Circle.
Drinking water crisis
Drinking water is a constant problem in rural Sundarban, a region that spans the coastal delta of India and Bangladesh. A girl collects water pooled above parched terrain in this photo from the Dreamstime agency.
“Ghost forests,” coastal trees killed by saltwater from rising seas, are one of the most visible markers of climate change, scientists say.
Remains of trees are seen here in a coastal ghost forest on Assateague Island in Virginia on October 25, 2013.
Unpredictable weather events, like hurricanes, are attributed to an “increasingly visible human footprint” by the U.N. weather agency.
This photo shows a girl as she walks through debris where homes once stood after Hurricane Matthew hit Jeremie, Haiti in October 2016.
A woman faints from the heat during the Hinglaj, a Hindu pilgrimage through the desert of western Pakistan. Extreme heat is leading to more fatalities around the world. It’s highlighting the gap between who can afford to adapt and who can’t; some who can are leaving areas where the changing climate is making conditions unbearable.
Plastic bags and other garbage float on the river Chao Phraya in Bangkok, Thailand, after the river rose above its banks following heavy rain.
The area is prone to regular flooding due to two factors: first, climate change is contributing to sea-level rise. Second, because of rapid urbanization and uncontrolled groundwater extraction, the city itself is sinking.
A puppy sits next to a walrus skull and a chain saw in Newtok, Alaska, July 3, 2015.
Newtok is one of several remote Alaskan villages forced to relocate due to warming temperatures, which are causing the melting of permafrost, widening of rivers and the erosion of both land and coastline.
Rivers dried up
Over 23 million people across East Africa are facing a critical shortage of water and food, exacerbated by climate change.
As a result, communities are being forced to settle near the remaining water sources, overburdening the scarce reserves.
Two Russian men fish in a lake next to the Karabash copper smelting plant, near Chilyabinsk, South Ural.
Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane trap heat in the atmosphere. Over time, they both make the planet warmer and thicken “the Earth’s blanket,” according to the EPA.
This pair of historical images posted to the NASA Climate 365 Project’s Tumblr page show just how dramatically Alaska’s Muir Glacier has retreated and thinned over the second half of the 20th century.
In just 60 years, the front of the glacier moved back about seven miles and its overall thickness decreased by more than 2,625 feet, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center
A huge iceberg floating on the Arctic Ocean.
In April 2017, more than 400 icebergs drifted into North Atlantic shipping lanes. Experts attributed it to uncommonly strong counter-clockwise winds drawing the icebergs south, and perhaps also global warming accelerating the process by which chunks of the Greenland ice sheet break off and float away.
A man walks next to a tree during a dust storm in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 20, 2015.
Cable cars pass offshore oil refineries shrouded by haze in southern Singapore, August 20, 2015.
The 3-hour Pollutants Standards Index (or PSI) hit 100 there that day, according to the National Environment Agency. And 100 is the mark at which air is considered unhealthy to breathe.
Victims of drought
The carcass of a donkey lies in a dried out Kenyan riverbed, the victim of drought.