When we see photos like this, we feel that there is no more hope left in the world. From the looks of it, it looks like humans destroy everything. This is just one example, amongst many. These thick clouds of smoke are the exact result of global warming and the impact it’s having on the environment.
But National Geographic remains hopeful about the current state of the environment, and says, “but amidst these odds, there is hope. Nature is resilient, and given the chance, it can recover, if we dare to make it happen” (National Geographic).
When we see coral nowadays, we may think it’s bright and beautiful. But that’s because we don’t have anything to compare it with. Once you see the horrendous effects of climate change, you’ll be convinced that humans destroy everything they touch. This is a prime example, taken at the Great Barrier Reef.
It’s a result of a decade of acidification and rising temperatures. We can see what the coral used to look like, vibrant, alive, and colorful, and what it looks like now. It’s completely dead. This is a powerful image that shows us the exact effects of climate change and how horrible it can be (National Geographic).
Another disturbing image is of this innocent animal and her baby amongst burned, decayed debris, a result of a wildfire. The fire tore through the kangaroo’s homeland, and now it’s left with nothing but ash. It cannot survive in a place like this for much longer and is forced to leave its home and find food elsewhere.
This is likely to happen more and more in the coming years and decades, as global warming and climate change affect animals and their habitats. Nature is resilient, though, and there’s hope that places such as this will regrow. But it’s up to us to slow down our destruction (National Geographic).
These destroyed lemon trees show the effects of wildfires and how rapidly they can destroy. The stronger the wind, the faster the destruction. Wildfires can spread at a rate of up to 14.27 miles per hour. Even though that doesn’t seem that fast, just remember that a wildfire destroys everything in its path.
Nothing is left behind. At one point in time, these lemon trees were a necessity for the land and the people living in proximity to them. Now, they’re nothing more than a pile of ash that must regrow over time (National Geographic).
As global temperatures rise, we see more intense hurricanes and flooding. These houses succumbed to the damaging effects of a recent hurricane. Because this area is not used to having hurricanes, these houses were most vulnerable because they were not built for this kind of weather.
Because of all the climate changes, flooding occurred and these houses were swallowed by the rising water levels. This is just one of many catastrophic effects of the way humans destroy the planet (People).
This is one of the most horrific images on this list. It depicts an anteater, burned after a wildfire. If the previous images didn’t prove that humans destroy everything they touch, then this one surely will. This anteater suffered the horrendous effects of humans and now has to pay for it. We all have to pay for it.
As National Geographic states, “collective action can prompt dramatic global change. Sometimes, all it takes is one image. More often, it’s simply a collection of vignettes that show us what is at stake, what is happening to it – and more importantly, what we can do about it.” These images directly showcase what’s happening around the world. Now, it’s up to us to stop it (National Geographic).
As we can see in this picture, the sea is way above its normal levels. That is solely due to climate change and global warming. With rising temperatures around the globe, ice caps melt, and thus the sea levels rise. This is solely proof that humans destroy everything they touch.
There’s no way to ignore it now. As sea levels rise, it becomes more dangerous for people to live by the sea, since there’s an increased chance of floods. This destroys people’s homes and will cause detrimental, lasting damage (National Geographic).
Even though this child is adorable, the fact that he’s floating next to a pile of trash is heartbreaking. There should not be this much garbage in a river, but it’s the harsh reality of the world we live in today. Because humans are constantly polluting the world, we’re creating more trash than we can handle.
Dumps are piling high with trash and cities are having trouble controlling the amount of trash coming in. There’s no way to get ahead of the plastic and waste consumption (National Geographic).
With rising temperatures comes more natural disasters. Hurricanes are one of these natural disasters. The more hurricanes, the more destruction. As we can see in this photograph, a category 5 hurricane is detrimental to everyone living in the area of the storm.
If these flood waters rise too drastically, entire cities can be swallowed and go underwater. Cities located at sea level, such as Manhattan, are especially vulnerable to these climate changes (National Geographic).
England saw the wrath of Storm Eunice, which brought incredibly strong winds, rain, and floods to the tiny island. Science Focus reported that “exposed coastal areas saw the worst gusts from the extreme weather event, with a wind speed of 196kph (122mph) recorded on the Isle of Wight. Eunice’s impact on the sea level could cause storm surges, and severe flood warnings have been issued for parts of the country.”
Coastal cities and villages will face the most destruction from the storm. This is just one of many negative occurrences of global warming and climate change. Because humans destroy everything they touch, we’re the ones that will have to pay for it (Science Focus).
While some countries and cities see too much rainfall, others don’t see any rainfall at all. Climate change scientists are studying the drastic changes in the climate around the globe. One of the major effects is flooding in some areas and droughts in other areas.
As we can see in this photo, this piece of land is experiencing a drastic drought. This is horrible for the crops, animals, and people living in the area who need water to live, grow food and survive. When we see photographs like this, we’re able to fully understand that these occurrences are not normal at all (Unwomen).
In a place like Los Angeles, we expect sunshine year-round, except for the random bouts of rain. We don’t expect snow. But that’s exactly what happened in Los Angeles in 2019, where residents experienced their first snowfall. Nearby areas also experienced droughts and deforestation from climate change.
We’re seeing strange weather patterns in parts of the globe we normally wouldn’t see them. We’re seeing warm weather in places that should be cold, and cold weather in places that should be warm. Scientists around the world are working on ways to try and prevent this change from becoming too detrimental that it’s irreversible (People).
This ice is not supposed to be broken up into many different pieces. It’s supposed to be one huge ice chunk, surrounded by cold temperatures. This just goes to show you there’s life-changing climate change, and it’s not for the better. The rising sea levels also cause coastal erosion, storm surges, and rising ocean temperatures. All of this is catastrophic to the future of our planet. According to Edition CNN, “the WMO says temperatures on the Arctic peninsula have risen nearly 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the last 50 years.
That has led to an increase in melting ice, which raises global sea levels and threatens coastal cities across the world.” Temperatures are rising, and we can see the effects in this photograph. They go on to say, “scientists say the planet is warming faster than previously thought and that the window is rapidly closing to cut our reliance on fossil fuels and avoid catastrophic outcomes.” We need to start acting fast (Fast Company).
It’s clear from this image that humans destroy everything. As we can see, before quarantining during the pandemic, there were toxic levels of smog in the air. After quarantine, once everything retreated into their homes and traffic ceased to exist, the smog and pollution cleared and the air was free of toxic chemicals.
Once it cleared, we could see buildings in the background, a blue, clear sky, and nature as it should be. This is what the world should look like without pollution or toxicity. We’re the ones that have caused this, and as we’ve mentioned before, we’re the ones that can end this (Old Reddit).
As we’ve seen previously, humans aren’t the only ones susceptible to climate change. Emperor penguins are also suffering tremendously. According to ABC, “the emperor penguin is at severe risk of extinction in the next 30 to 40 years as a result of climate change, according to research by the Argentine Antarctic Institute (IAA). The emperor, the world’s largest penguin and one of only two penguin species endemic to Antarctica, gives birth during the Antarctic winter and requires solid sea ice from April through to December to nest fledgling chicks.”
This is heartbreaking. If Emperor Penguins go extinct, it’ll create a chain reaction of events that’ll affect the future in more ways than one. Biologist Marcela Libertelli, a scientist who had studied 15,000 penguins in Antarctica, said, “if the water reaches the newborn penguins, which are not ready to swim and do not have waterproof plumage, they die of the cold and drown.” Again, we’re seeing the detrimental effects of climate change on animals and our future (ABC).
This stunning photograph of Mount Ararat shows the effects of the pandemic. It’s captioned, “the COVID-19 lockdown in Armenia and sudden drop in air pollution has led to some stunningly clear views of Mount Ararat.” As we can see, there were some benefits to the pandemic.
Since pollution in the sky cleared, there were fewer toxic chemicals and thus less pollution. This is beneficial for everyone’s overall health since toxicity in the air causes a slew of health problems, including problems in the respiratory and cardiovascular parts of our bodies (Old Reddit).
Thawing permafrost creates a slew of problems that are detrimental to our planet. According to USGS, “thawing permafrost can result in the loss of terrain, as seen in this image where part of the coastal bluff along Drew Point, Alaska, has collapsed into the ocean.” Coastal erosion is just one of many effects of this climate change. Scientists are trying their best to collect data from the air and land to see how climate change affects the planet’s regions.
According to Climate NASA, “trapped within Earth’s permafrost, which is ground that remains frozen for a minimum of two years, are untold quantities of greenhouse gases, microbes, and chemicals, including the now-banned pesticide DDT. As the planet warms, permafrost is thawing at an increasing rate, and scientists face a host of uncertainties when trying to determine the potential effects of the thaw.” There are tens of thousands of negative effects of climate change. We’re only seeing a few of them (Climate NASA).
This disturbing image shows a shepherd leading his flock across land that has been drought-stricken. This is one of many horrifying weather events that have taken place during the past several years. It seems that more and more catastrophic events are occurring, up to a point we cannot control.
Previously, this land was lush and abundant, but now we see nothing more than a dry wasteland. VICE reports, “the increasing number and intensity of weather events to climate change, warning that rising CO2 emissions will only increase the number of natural disasters. While these events cause damage and often death, they also lead to a mass movement of people fleeing to safer surroundings.” Eventually, the safer grounds will become dangerous, too (VICE).
What was previously a gushing river, full of beautiful water and smooth rock has turned into a dump. As you can see in this photograph, trash floats along the river at an alarming rate. There should be no trash in a river, especially of this degree. This is the horrible reality in which we live today.
Unfortunately, this is only one river out of hundreds of thousands around the world that is suffering from the horrible effects of global warming (VICE).
Sleeping Workers Exploited in their Toxic Work Conditions
These workers are photographed taking a break from their job, during one of their shifts. As we can see in the photograph, their conditions aren’t great, and they’re left inside dirty walls with little to no room. These are not conditions anyone should be living in. Additionally, since these workers are in toxic environments, their work ethic is below par. Sleep loss is a result of pollution and living in a toxic environment.
Sleep deprivation itself has a slew of horrible issues, but when you add it to an environment with pollution, it’s even worse. It’s because humans destroy everything they get their hands on (National Geographic).
This photograph was taken in Nidderau near Frankfurt, Germany. It shows a train passing through a highly flooded area. The train can barely pass the water as it crawls its way along the tracks. It’s very obvious that this train is not supposed to be near flood water, and that this flooding is a result of global warming and climate change.
Because sea levels are rising, it’s affecting places that normally wouldn’t be affected. Take this train track, for example. When it was built, it was not in an area that succumbs to flooding. But because of climate change, it now is (VICE).
This dried-out lake was spotted in Colombia. When we see images like this, it’s a sad reminder of the detrimental effects of global warming and climate change. This lake is supposed to be full of crystal clear water and lush vegetation but is the complete opposite.
This is a sad reminder that humans destroy everything on earth. We don’t see the effects of global warming immediately because it takes time to develop. But, from all of these photos, we can see that it’s only a matter of time before it’s too late (VICE).
At first glance, this doesn’t seem that bad. A pink lagoon? Awesome! But the truth of the matter is that this pink lagoon is a result of pollution. This is the Corfo Lagoon in Argentina.
Because of substantial runoff and toxic waste and chemicals pouring into the lagoon, it’s turned pink. Locals report foul smells and other issues coming from the lagoon as a result of the pollution. People should stay far away from this lagoon (VICE).
We’ve seen photos of wildfires time and time again. Here’s just another example of them. In 2018, California experienced raging wildfires that tore through homes and fields across the state.
Over 80 people died, and more than 1,000 people were left missing. This goes to show you how destructive climate change can be and just how dangerous things like wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes are (People).
At first glance, fairy chimneys sound like something from a fairytale land. But upon further investigation, it turns out that these come from a result of climate change. According to Weather, “a general view of underwater fairy chimneys, also known as microbialites, after the withdrawal of water due to climate change and drought in Van Lake in Adilcevaz district of Bitlis, Turkey.” These became visible after the withdrawal of the water along the coastline.
They continue and say, “the formations, which took thousands of years to form and are seen underwater, attract attention from nature lovers and photography enthusiasts as well as scientists.” Even though these look beautiful, the fact that we can see them is alarming, We’re not supposed to see them (Weather).
Blizzards are not unheard of, but blizzards that swallow people whole, are. This man was captured trying to walk through snow taller than him. This massive blizzard occurred in 2018 along the east coast of the USA and continued down to Florida. States that aren’t supposed to see this kind of weather saw it.
It just goes to show you how much the world is changing. The snow seen in Florida was the first time this has happened in over thirty years. It was called the “bomb cyclone” and caused over $1.1 billion in damages (People).
This woman in a traffic jam is fleeing her hometown. This was taken on Highway 50 in Lake Tahoe, California. People were evacuating ahead of the Caldor Fire, which ended up burning more than 175,000 acres. Again and again, we’re seeing the detrimental effects of climate change.
Because of the fires, thousands of people lost their homes and had to repair their lives from scratch. It’s heartbreaking that this is all happening as a result of rising temperatures around the globe (Fast Company).
Assam, home to the largest river island in the world, is a beautiful state in India. They’re used to seeing plenty of rainfall throughout the year to keep the state nourished and flourishing throughout the entire year. Unfortunately, because of climate change, the state is now seeing detrimental droughts across the entire state. According to Down to Earth, “warmer temperatures have affected the state’s tea gardens for a decade.
Now, places recently experiencing unexpected and longer dry spells are catching the eye.” This is affecting the locals and the environment in Assam. Director Soh, a farmer from the region, said “never before have I seen drought in this region.” His farm production is suffering, and yet there’s little he can do. He made less this year than expected, as did many other farmers around the country (Down to Earth).
This is a clear sign that storms are becoming stronger and more violent. This road was, quite literally, picked up and moved after a storm. This Reddit user was in so much shock that they snapped a photo to remember the event. This area is not used to having storms of this degree.
Surprisingly, the storm was powerful enough to move a hunk of concrete, solid road, several feet over. It’s just one example of many of the effects of global warming and how humans destroy the planet (Old Reddit).
From space, we can now witness climate change and our battle against it. Satellites measure the rate at which icebergs melt into the Atlantic Ocean. According to Politico, “they will be used to “persistently pinpoint” the amount of methane and carbon dioxide spewing from factories and power plants most responsible for supercharging the planet.” As we can see, humans destroy everything in sight.
Scientists are working on ways to combat climate change and diagnose the problem. They’re trying to figure out how we can reverse the effects of this detrimental climate crisis. Krystal Azelton, a director at the Secure World Foundation, said, “satellites were key in understanding we had a climate crisis. We are seeing vast improvements … in data sharing and access.” This is good news in a swirl of negative news. There’s still hope (Politico).
This photograph showcases a house that’s on the verge of collapsing. Many oceanside towns deal with fluctuating sea levels on a daily basis, due to the tides. But this is not the case for many. This home, like many other homes are threatened by diminishing shore lines.
With coastal erosion and rising temperatures, this house was not able to withstand all of the climate change over the years. It’s living proof that humans destroy everything they touch (The Guardian).
This photograph is heartbreaking. It shows a little boy fighting a fire. This is not something a child should have to do. A child should be running around, freely, without a care in the world. But that’s not the case here. This child is fighting for his life as he tries to put out the fire and save his hometown.
Of course, his efforts are not strong enough to fight the fire, but his efforts are seen as heroic. We need more people with his mindset. We can see it as symbolic, as someone trying to fight the detrimental effects of climate change. There’s only so much we can do at this point (The Guardian).
Here is another heartbreaking photograph of a child wearing a face mask. The air is too toxic to breathe, hence the clean oxygen he’s breathing in. Again, a child should be able to roam around freely without having to worry about the toxicity in the air. But that’s not the case here.
Because humans destroy everything in the world, this boy has to suffer and give up his childhood. He’s just one of many children succumbing to the negative effects of our poor decisions as humanity (The Guardian).
We’re seeing another shepherd move his flock of sheep across a land of drought. It’s seeing the effects of climate change and how a once thriving ecosystem is now a dry wasteland. We can only imagine what will happen in the years to come. Slowly, these sheep will suffer, and then the farmers will suffer.
The land is already suffering the impact. We can only hope this patch of land sees an abundance of rainfall, otherwise, the impact will be irreversible (The Guardian).
The same land as above, but now we’re seeing women walk across the barren wasteland in search of water. Never before have these women had to search for water like this.
Previously, they were able to find water easily, but now they cannot because of the detrimental changes happening to our planet. We can only hope this ecosystem will thrive again, although it doesn’t look promising (The Guardian).
This is yet another example of a polluted waterway. Here, we’re seeing a traffic jam of boats cruising along the river. People are bumper to bumper in a polluted waterway and traffic jams.
Litter is falling into the water, and the marine life in the river doesn’t have a moment to breathe because of the constant human interference. Although these people rely on the river to transport themselves and their goods, it’s negatively impacting the environment around them (The Guardian).
In Europe’s most polluted capital, Skopje, we see the shocking effects of pollution. Buildings peak out of the top of a large cloud of smog and pollution. This just goes to show you how horrendous the pollution problem is, and how much it’s affecting the lives of everyone around the world.
We can barely see the tops of the two highest buildings in Macedonia through the thick smog. While we may not see the effects, breathing in this kind of pollution is detrimental to the health of everyone living in the city (People).
In Silent Valley National Park in Kerala, India, wildfires were reported. This is unheard of during these months before summer. According to Down to Earth, “Kerala has witnessed raging wildfires in the last four days as an unusually early summer has raised temperatures by two to three degrees Celsius above average.
The state’s flora and fauna have suffered as a result of climate change-induced extreme weather events.” Because of the globally rising temperatures, this national park is seeing the firsthand negative effects of rising temperatures. The report goes on to say that “over 800 hectares of forest area and grasslands have been lost in the fires despite preventive measures like creation of fire lines and removal of dead wood, according to a rough initial estimate of the forest department.” The wildfires resulted in mass destruction of the environment, and the flora and fauna (Down to Earth).
We’d see inches of water and lush, green plants in Sacramento Valley any other year. But not this year. The soil is naked of any life, and baking in over ninety degrees Fahrenheit heat. This occurred during a horrendous drought in early 2020, but conditions have worsened over the months. Science News says, “low water levels in reservoirs and rivers have forced farmers like Rystrom, whose family has been growing rice on this land for four generations, to slash their water use.”
He is just one farmer negatively impacted by climate change. Rystrom says, “we’ve had to cut back between 25 and 50 percent.” That’s a huge amount, especially if farming is your only source of income. Throughout the next several decades, we’re going to see farmers having the biggest impact from climate change (Science News).
The effects of climate change on the Mekong River are obvious. As you can see in this image, the soil health is not where it’s supposed to be. Because of rising temperatures, as we’ve talked about time and time again, the intensity of rainfall has changed.
Floods and droughts are destroying homes, crops, and fisheries. The communities that are most vulnerable to water and food shortages are the ones that will suffer the most (Science News).
This is one photograph of the effects of heavy rain in the Bay of Bengal. Climate change can affect the intensity and frequency of precipitation. Warmer oceans increase the amount of water that evaporates into the air. When more moisture-laden air moves over land or converges into a storm system, it can produce more intense precipitation—for example, heavier rain and snow storms.
They go on to say, “the water level of the Hirakud dam on the Mahanadi stood at 626.27 feet, against its storage capacity of 630 feet. Ten districts in Odisha recorded rainfall above 200 mm whereas nine districts got rainfall between 100 and 200 mm in the past 24 hours.” This is unlike anything ever seen in this region. Additionally, the highest-ever rainfall was recorded in these regions, clearly depicting the effects of climate change (Down To Earth).
Flooding doesn’t only affect land and crops, but it affects manmade things, too. This bridge succumbed to rising water levels and broke in half because it was not built to support the weight of the water. This means this is the first time this has happened. Edition CNN says, “scientists have been warning for years that the climate crisis would amplify extreme weather, making it deadlier and more frequent — and the latest catastrophes are seen as a timely reminder the threat could hit much closer to home than some might think.”
We think we’re decades away from a global warming catastrophe, but the truth of the matter is we’re much closer than we think. CNN goes on to report, “much of China’s central Henan province devastated by record rains, there was little reference to the broader climate crisis among Chinese officials, scientists or state media.” Parts of China received a dangerous level of rain every hour, which resulted in flooding (Edition CNN).
Here is another photo depicting how humans destroy everything on earth. As we’ve seen previously, these fragments of ice should not be individually apart. They should be together. A reporter from Edition CNN says, “I had never seen it (algae) before March blooming in the glaciers. And now it’s showing up in January and December. That’s like three months early. And there are places where I had never, ever seen the ground. There had always been some snow cover. And now it’s just mud and rocks.”
Also, the Antarctic has declined by more than 75% during the past half-century. Animals, like penguins, rely on food sources, which they are now being starved of. Furthermore, “phytoplankton blooms on the underside of the sea ice, and that is what the krill feed on. And then the penguins feed on the krill, the whales feed on the krill, and seals and sea lions feed on the krill. So it has this incredible chain effect. If you lose the sea ice, you lose this phytoplankton. You lose the phytoplankton and then you start losing the krill, and it starts to chain up.” And that chain ends with us (Edition CNN).
When we think of polar bears, we think of fluffy white animals prancing around an icy fairytale land. We don’t think of them playing on top of a pile of garbage. This is one of the most heartbreaking images on this list. It proves just how much humans destroy the planet.
Now, we’re not only affecting our lives, but we’re endangering the lives of innocent animals who have nothing to do with climate change. We’re the ones damaging the ecosystem, not them. These polar bears will be forced to leave their habitat and seek shelter somewhere safer and cleaner than where they currently are (People).
In 2017, in Anshun, Guizhou province in China, a month of severe rainfall left 83 people dead or missing. We can’t even imagine having a month of constant rainfall, but because of climate change and humans destroying everything they touch, this is happening around the world.
And it’s becoming more common than not. Many places around the world are seeing freak weather changes that are far from normal. If we don’t do something to change it now, the effects will snowball until there’s nothing we can do to reverse the damage (People).