Dramatic NatGeo photos show how climate change is transforming the world


An ice cave in Iceland’s Svínafellsjökull Glacier is rapidly expanding due to the effects of global warming. Icelandic glaciers have lost 12 percent of their size since 2000.
Image: Tom Schifanella, national geographic your shot

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.

Dried-up ponds in Israel caused by a lack of rain.

Image: tomasz solinski, national geographic your shot

An aerial view of the Chong Kneas floating village on Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia. The lake’s seasonal cycles are threatened by changing rainfall patterns and rising temperatures.


“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.

Factories off the coast of Singapore spew greenhouse gas emissions.

Image: Terence Chiew, national geographic your shot

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:

A woman stands on the Indian island of Mousuni, in the Bay of Bengal, where a rise in sea level threatens to permanently force families from their homes.

Image: arka dutta, national geographic your shot

Guard dogs confront a polar bear on the Franz Josef Land archipelago. As Arctic sea ice disappears, bears are increasingly moving into human settlements in search of food.

Image: Vladimir melnik, national geographic your shot

A patch of parched dirt in the drought-stricken Puruliya district of West Bengal, India.

Image: Ujjal das, national geographic your shot

A man moves tree trunks in the Zagros Mountains near Hamedan, Iran. Deforestation affects 30 percent of the forest.

Image: mohamad ali najib, national geographic your shot

A man fishes in a drought-affected lake in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Image: pamela peters, national geographic your shot

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