Climate change represents the largest existential threat to civilization as we know it. For thousands of years, the globe has experienced relatively stable climate conditions. The stable climate has let us develop to general prosperity through the use of fossil fuels.
However, progress has come at a significant cost. As we burn more fossil fuels, we inject carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, along with other particulates. Carbon dioxide creates an invisible and insulating blanket across the planet, which lets incoming sunlight/heat come in but not enough escape back to space. This process turns up the global thermostat.
Climate change links to current and future extreme weather events and social phenomena. Increasing numbers of extreme cyclones and tropical storms, severe changes in rainfall, and vast melting of ice are all linked to a warming world. Much of this is affecting the world's poor that have the least resources to fight against surging threats.
A quick global response by all sectors is required. However, current approaches to carbon dioxide emissions reduction and adaptive measures are not occurring quick enough. Governments, industry, and the general public all have a part to play if the globe is to halt or, at least, slow down, climate change.
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Burning trash piles, Mumbai, India. Roughly 40% of the globe's waste is dealt by with uncontrolled fires nearby population centers. The majority of burning garbage is made up of organic matter, which when burnt releases carbon dioxide. However, additional materials burning include plastics and other synthetics, when burnt, release pollutants such as mercury and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are known to cause cancer and other health concerns.
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Workers pack up sacks full of illegally scavenged coal in the coal mines of Jharia, India. Scavenged coal is either sold on the black market for domestic use or used personally by the scavengers in their homes. Mine's such as those in Jharia supply coal to India's largest power plants that power mega cities such as New Delhi.
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The ever-expanding skyline of Seoul, South Korea. Mega-cities have a large part to play in humanities adaptation to climate change. Cities are population sinks and as more of humanity is concentrated into cities it is crucial that we source our energy from clean sources that move away from fossil fuels. Most major cities across the globe are still powered by fossi fuels, such as coal.
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Woman going to collect water in a slum settlement outside New Delhi, India. Climate change is causing rainfall patterns to shift to more extreme variations. Long dry spells in already water starved areas are set to increase putting pressure on cities located in dry locations such as New Delhi.
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A couple in Seoul, South Korea under a thick blanket of air pollution that covered the city during a spring day. Air pollutants are mostly sourced from fossil fuel burning vehicles and power plants. As air pollutants are released from the burning of fossil fuels, it is realesed in concert with carbon dioxide, the main precusor to climate change.
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Inter-island migrants walk across the ocean to reach their destination of South Tarawa, Kiribati. As more of the outer and remote islands in Kiribati face climate change impacts, mainly sea level rise, many are moving to the island of South Tarawa, the crowded capital.
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Workers crush up and load a truck up with coal that is to be transported to power plants across India's energy hungry mega-cities. Coal burning for electricity is a major contributor to carbon dioxide and climate change.
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A retreating glacier in the Zanskar Himalayan rage, India. Glaciers across the planet are in vast retreat from warming temperatures due to climate change. Many of these glaciers provide water for some of the world's major rivers that quench the thirst of billions world-wide.
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Newly planted mangroves on Kiribati's coastline. Kiribati is a small Pacific island nation that is facing constant threats from rising sea levels due to climate change. Mangroves are part of the country's adaptation plans to reduce coastline erosion from rising tides.
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Open-pit coal mine, Jharia, India.
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A homeless settlement in the mega-city of Mumbai. The people migrated from drought stricken regions in Maharastra the state of which Mumbai is the capital of. Many of the migrants were landless and relied on farmers to give them work on the fields. However, as water resources dried up they were unable to find work on the fields and relocated to Mumbai to find work.
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Diesel powered truck transports migrant workers on the ever expanding Himalayan roads of India. Unfiltered and old diesel trucks release large amounts of black carbon, a dark particle that absorbs sunlight and heats the surrounding area. Black carbon has been shown to exacerbate the impacts of climate change in the Himalayas, which is warming faster than any other place on the planet, excluding the Arctic.
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Tenzen Chezen and her children outside their newly built home in the Zanskar Himalaya. Tenzen and her family recently relocated from their old village because of constant drought conditions. The village of Kumik, where she is from, has watched their glacier, which provided the community water, disappear due to warming temperatures. Her and her family moved to a location closer to a permanent river.
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Arial photo of retreating Himalayan glaciers. The Himalayas is one of the fatest warming regions on the planet, excluding the arctic. The thawing of ice is one of the surest signs of a warming climate regime.
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Fijian fisherman on Fiji's Great Sea Reef begin to get ready to dive under to catch their source of income and livlihood, fish. As climate change warms the globe, the ocean's temperature rises with it. Coral reefs that sustain fishing communities, like those that these fishermen are from, are dying out due to warming ocean temperatures. Coral reefs are extremely sensitive to temperature variations.
Climate Change Climate change represents the largest existential threat to civilization as we know it. For thousands of years, the globe has experienced relatively stable climate conditions. The stable climate has let us develop to general prosperity through the use of fossil fuels. Howeve...