2020 was the third hottest year on record on the planet, which is a reminder that climate change is maintaining its course. “Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century,” said the Secretary-General of the United Nations. So, while the world is changing, we should be aware of what we can lose or gain if we adopt sustainable habits. It’s one of the tasks that is within our reach and that can determine our role in the world of the future.
At Bright Side, we want to show you some of the signs and places on Earth that are examples of the tragic consequences of climate change.
1. Many glaciers on the planet have been melting rapidly.
Because of their bright white patches of ice, glaciers reflect excess heat into space and help keep the planet cooler. But even they can’t help the new conditions and have been melting rapidly since 1900.
2. As long as the ice on land continues melting, sea levels will continue rising.
3. Numerous animal species have been forced to leave their natural habitats.
4. Fires consume vegetation and cause irreversible damage, even in protected areas like this one in Bolivia.
5. Some places have already changed completely.
6. Coastline erosion in some places has accelerated and is becoming a risk.
8. The Aral Sea, which used to be the fourth-largest lake in the world, has been divided into parts.
10. Prolonged drought and extreme heat have fueled Australia’s fire season.
Scientists say climate change has altered Australia’s climate, and the warming trend seems to indicate that temperatures could reach a record high sometime in the next decade.
11. Heat waves have also reached agricultural fields
The summer of 2018 was marked by extreme drought, and several countries suffered high economic costs from crop failure. On the left, you can see a 2017 image of green fields in Denmark, which were replaced by dry land in 2018.
12. Tree bark beetle outbreaks affecting the Harz National Park in Germany have increased due to climate change.
13. This lake was once the largest in the Middle East, but it has been shrinking for decades.
As Lake Urmia’s size decreases, it becomes saltier, which then allows for microscopic organisms to give it a reddish-orange hue.
14. Changes in the global sea level affect the city of Venice, which now has to deal with floods more frequently.
16. The ice on the “Iceberg Lake” glacier is breaking up and melting at a fast rate.
17. Huge blocks of ice collapse.
As you can see in the images, blocks of ice fall, and enormous masses of the Perito Moreno glacier (Argentina) collapse.
18. This glacier, a famous tourist attraction, also raises concerns about its retreat (it has lost 60% of its size).
Located in Central Asia, it holds the third largest ice deposit after Antarctica and Greenland. It attracts millions of visitors each year for the beauty of its frosts. Yet somehow, these tourists also record the portrait of the loss of one of the world’s largest freshwater springs.
Have you noticed that the climate has changed where you live? If so, what’s different?