27 Photos That Show How The Climate Changed The World In 2016

The reindeers are dying.

1. Antarctica

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Researchers from NASA and the University of California (Irvine campus) have recently detected the fastest ongoing glacial retreat rates ever observed in Western Antarctica, saying the ice sheet directly contributes to rising sea levels and may be in a state of irreversible decline.

2. Argentina / Paraguay

Jorge Adorno / Reuters

The section of the Pilcomayo River dividing Paraguay and Argentina is facing its worst drought in almost two decades. Crows perched on tree branches have become a common sight, and alligators, dead and alive, are seen stuck in the mud on the river bed.

3. Australia

Xl Catlin Seaview Survey / PR IMAGE

Scientists surveyed the Great Barrier Reef earlier this year and found that an estimated 93 per cent of the reef’s corals have been affected by a mass bleaching event, caused mainly by high sea temperatures.

4. Austria

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Austria’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research has conducted measurements to assess the rate at which glaciers in the Austrian Alps, including the Outer Mullwitzkees Glacier pictured above, are shrinking in depth. The institute estimates the current rate to be 1.5 metres per year.

5. Bolivia

David Mercado / Reuters

Bolivia declared a state of emergency following the worst drought the country has experienced in 25 years. The glaciers that supply water to major cities are rapidly disappearing and the Ajuan Khota dam has dried up.

6. Cambodia

Pring Samrang / Reuters

The 2015-16 El Niño phenomenon has devastated rural areas in Cambodia, including the farming and fishing province of Kandal. And while the region is desperate for water, scientists worry that the rains will cause floods during the planting season.

7. Canada

Lars H. Ostenfeld / Via larsostenfeld.dk

Sea ice in the Arctic regions is crucial to the survival of polar bears, but researchers have seen that the formation of ice during the winter has slowed down. In Hudson Bay the polar bear population has seen a 20 per cent decline over the last 30 years.

8. China

Andy Wong / Andy Wong / AP/REX/Shutterstock

Beijing was put on “red alert” in December, limiting traffic and shutting down schools and businesses in the city, after the air quality index hit 260 – more than five times what’s considered healthy.

9. Ethiopia

Tiksa Negeri / Reuters

After the worst drought in 50 years in Ethiopia, extreme rain and floods further damaged the already weakened crops that feed the country’s population.

10. France

Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters

Small-particle haze blanketed Paris, making it the worst air pollution the city has experienced in a decade.

11. Honduras

Orlando Sierra / AFP / Getty Images

Germanwatch’s Global Climate Risk Index has ranked Honduras as among the countries most affected by climate change. Signs of this are seen in plantations in La Tigra where strawberries are ruined by funghi.

12. India

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

New Delhi’s air quality index hit 999 one day in November, making it the most polluted city in the world that day. The reading went off the standard chart, where what’s considered “hazardous” is capped at 500.

13. Iran

Atta Kenare / AFP / Getty Images

The pistachio industry, Iran’s second biggest export, has taken a turn for the worse with leaves turning yellow-green from salty water. Provinces including Kerman have been growing pistachio trees since the 17th century, but most farmers have already left.

14. Israel

Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty Images

EcoPeace Middle East has warned that the Dead Sea is receding at a rate of one metre per year. If this continues it will dry out by 2050. Sinkholes have forced road and beach closures and damaged agriculture.

15. Kiribati

David Gray / Reuters

The Pacific nation is one of the world’s most vulnerable. With the country sitting at less than two metres above sea level, a World Bank study estimates the low lying areas could see inundation and coastal erosion by 2050.

16. Mauritania

Thomas Trutschel / Getty Images

Workers are stabilising dunes to protect Nouakchott from rising sea levels, and the government has invested in coastal infrastructure, with studies predicting 80 per cent of the city could be submerged in less than a decade.

17. Nepal

Heath Holden / Getty Images

Mount Everest’s Khumbu glacier has been receding in the recent years, with pools of water now a common scene at the base camp of the world’s highest mountain. The base camp, which sits on the glacier, has decreased by 12 metres in elevation in the last 50 years.

18. Nicaragua

Oswaldo Rivas / Reuters

In this photo Oswaldo Rivas holds a photograph taken in 2008 at the same spot in the Tisma Lagoon Natural Reserve. The lagoon has dried out due to a drought.

19. Norway

Afp / AFP / Getty Images

Summer temperatures in Ny-Alesund have gone up by 11 degrees in the last 30 years, and this has caused the Blomstrand Glacier to recede significantly.

20. Russia

Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Heavy rain falling over snow continues to negatively impact the reindeer population in Siberia. In 2013 61,000 reindeers died after being cut off from their food supply, and such events are only expected to increase in severity.

21. Somalia

Feisal Omar / Reuters

Communities in Somalia rely on the Shabelle River for water and food, but the drought this year caused it to run dry.

22. South Africa

Rogan Ward / Reuters

Lake St Lucia, located northeast of Durban, has almost completely dried out due to drought conditions. The World Food Programme also warned about a famine that could affect 50 million people in southern Africa, who rely on South African crops as a food source.

23. Switzerland

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

The Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland’s largest, is approximately 23km long and up to 900 metres deep, but it is rapidly shrinking. Experts predict the glacier may lose 90 per cent of its ice volume this century.

24. Thailand

Chaiwat Subprasom / Reuters

Several provinces in Thailand have battled with drought conditions, the worst the country has seen in more than a decade. Among those affected were the farmers who were desperate for water to irrigate their fields.

25. United States

Becky Bohrer / Becky Bohrer / AP/REX/Shutterstock

The Mendenhall Glacier, a popular tourist attraction in Alaska, has retreated 30 metres in the last 10 years. The local visitor centre has made efforts to spread climate awareness by showing tourists photos of the glacier from the past 60 years.

26. Vietnam

Nguyen Huy Kham / Reuters

The Mekong Delta’s farming industry, which produces half of Vietnam’s rice supply, among other crops, has been damaged after extreme drought conditions affected the area, the worst it’s experienced in 100 years.

27. Zimbabwe

Philimon Bulawayo / Reuters

Farmers in Zimbabwe have lost their produce as the country endured severe effects of El Niño this year. The United Nations Development Programme also estimated half of the country’s drought-stricken rural population will need aid by next year.

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Anna Mendoza is a photo editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Anna Mendoza at Anna.Mendoza@buzzfeed.com.
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