National Geographic gave these photographers a mission: to document climate change. And they captured famine, drought, and rapidly vanishing ice in some of the most beautiful parts of the world. We’ve selected 12 shots that reveal the impact of global warming as it’s never been seen before.
Patty Waymire took this poignant photograph of a polar bear sitting in complete solitude on the edge of one of the Barter islands. There should be snow, but due to an unusually warm winter there’s none.
Kira Morris photographed a group of emperor penguins confronted with a crack caused by the thawing of Antarctic ice.
Global warming has resulted in longer, dryer winters, and summers without rainfall. As a result, animals have altered their behaviour. Jetje Japhet took this night-time shot of assorted animals feeding on oranges discarded by a farmer.
Huge cracks in Antarctic ice. Photograph by Kira Morris.
A woman trying to survive floods in Bangladesh – a country that’s been suffering from ever-greater natural disasters because of climate change. Photograph by Probal Rashid.
The loss of ice is condemning polar bears in the Arctic to a life of scarcity. This forces them into confrontational situations with humans and with the dogs who guard their settlements. Photo by Vladimir Melnik.
A man fishes in Sierra Nevada Lake (California) – what’s left of it anyway. Photograph by Pamela Peters.
Tom Schifanella shot one of the remaining Islandic glaciers. Since 2000, glaciers here have lost 12% of their mass.
Aerial view of the floating village Chong Kneas, on Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia. The seasonal cycles of this great lake are threatened by changing rainfall patterns and rising temperatures. Photograph by Stuart Chape.
These polar bear remains were found on an island in Northern Svalbard. We don’t know whether the bear died of starvation or natural causes, but the good condition of its teeth suggests the former. Photograph by Vadim Balakin.
Angani, an Inuit from Kulusuk eastern Greenland, survives and feeds his family by hunting. But as the ice melts, Angani’s opportunities for hunting grow ever slimmer. Photograph by Florian Ledoux.
The lack of water in Israel has led to this: aquaculturists draining the water and leaving the rest dry.