The effects of climate change are already visible in communities across the world.
Prolonged droughts are zapping fields dry from Texas to Tanzania. Powerful storms are flooding homes from North Carolina to Nepal. At the farthest ends of the planet, glaciers are melting and habitats are vanishing.
Amid such disruption, a global band of photographers has managed to turn these concerning realities into a collection of stunning scenes from their own backyards.
National Geographic this fall tasked its online photo community, called Your Shot, with submitting photographs on the theme of human-caused climate change.
Your Shot includes amateur and professional photographers, in their teens up to their 90s, who use smartphone, point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras.
“The hope is to have [climate change] become more real for people,” said Monica Corcoran, director of the Your Shot community.
“It’s not just something that’s going to happen in future generations we’re really seeing the effects happening right now, today,” she told Mashable.
NatGeo displayed a selection of the Your Shot images earlier this month during the United Nations climate negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco. Country leaders worked to create an action plan for the Paris Climate Agreement, which commits governments to curbing their greenhouse gas emissions.
Burning fossil fuels for energy, rampant deforestation and other human activities are pushing global temperatures above those seen in the pre-industrial era. As a result, many communities are already seeing effects such as more frequent and intense storms, heavier rainfall, long-lasting and intense droughts along with a higher risk of wildfires.
Corcoran said she hopes the Your Shot assignment will inspire a sense of urgency in everyone who sees the photographs.
“We’re trying to connect with the viewer, so they see the image in a way that means something to them on a personal level,” she said. “Then, they can take that next step [toward action], because it affects them personally.”
Here are more of the surreal Your Shot images, provided by National Geographic: