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Climate Change in Your Life

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Published May 25, 2015 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 14 Contributors

    14 photos selected by

    Jessie Wender
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine
    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    We are, as a species addicted to the 'black stuff'. Our household uses 10 - 20 bags of coal (mixe...

    #coal #fosilfuel #hand #climatechangeinyourlife

    We first want to thank all of you for engaging with this difficult, some say impossible assignment. We realize that documenting climate change in an assignment that lasts just a few weeks could be seen as a self-defeating limitation, given that climate change is typically measured in time segments of 30 years or more.

    Yet as editors faced with these kinds of limitations on every assignment we must create, we felt it very important to make this an assignment, not just a photo contest where people pick a few pictures from their archive and call it done. 

    That’s the easy way out, and a not very satisfying route to take if we are truly approaching this project as an assignment, and an exercise where photographers seek out pictures for their meaning and not just their appearance.

    "A quarter century ago, scientists warned that if we kept burning fossil fuel at current rates we...

    #taft #climate_change #california #aerial #midway_sunset #tellyourpollutionstory

    Editor's Note

    Jassen T.'s aerial image of the largest oil field in California looks at one of the causes of climate change. It feels both graphic and mechanical, and its sheer scale highlights our dependence on ... More

    Jessie Wender
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine

    How big is your carbon footprint? How many gallons of fossil fuel do you burn each year? How many...

    #coolit #climatechangeinyourlifeassignment #yourshotbook #ngmadvances #myclimateaction

    Editor's Note

    Rather than looking to the outside, Duey created a conceptual photograph. I love that this image wasn't made using Photoshop, but that it was actually physically constructed, and then photographed.... More

    Jessie Wender
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine

    Nature and people are all depending upon one another for the survival of the equilibrium. Deviati...

    #climate #changes #fish #reflection #abstract #water #life #place #people #travel #photography2015

    A record 300mm of rain fell in a 3 hour period. This is 4.30 in the afternoon 1/5/15. There is no...

    #flood #weather #rain #tropical_low #flooding #storm

    The rain season is been delayed notoriously in southern Chile. Reservoirs, like the one located n...

    #landscape #drought #chile #black__and_white #reservoir

    Editor's Note

    Claudio Flores Fuentes's careful composition of the receding water markers highlights the extent of this area's depleted reservoir. His decision to photograph this image in black and white adds to ... More

    Jessie Wender
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine

    Shadows in a queue for a bucket of water, Residents a tribal village in India wait on the edge of...

    #watercrisis #drought #villagelife #india

    Editor's Note

    Water scarcity in some regions are resulting from extended drought, and this image showing the bottom of a nearly empty drinking water well speaks eloquently to the kinds of challenges already face... More

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    The favorite past time of the kids in summer is to play with the hose. Since California is in suc...

    #drought #kids #nature

    Editor's Note

    Amanda Lockie captured a beautiful childhood gesture and moment. The dreamlike and nostalgic image is in California, which is now suffering from extreme drought. It's thoughtful multitasking - her... More

    Jessie Wender
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine

    It is much more difficult to sit down and read about an idea, engage your curiosity and imagination, and then use your cameras to produce storytelling images that are a result of that effort. These images are also much more satisfying to create, because you have invested yourself personally in thinking about and expending the effort to create them.

    The variety of work was impressive. Of course some of you live in places where the effects of a changing climate are not necessarily visible to you, but that does not mean these effects are invisible to your minds eye. We saw thoughtful conceptual images, we saw powerful images of extreme weather and the effects of rising seas, we saw lyrical and beautiful images that showed everyday life, and we saw images of the struggle to survive in a world of increasingly scare resources.

    Flying paramotor over the flooded farmland area around the Mid North Coast of Australia when I sp...

    #landscape #flood #wildlife #aerial_image #cow #australia #aerial #el_nino #nature

    Editor's Note

    This photograph of flooded farmland in Australia reminds me of a surrealist painting. You really get a sense of isolation created by flooding - a lone cow stranded in a sea of sky.

    Jessie Wender
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine

    I learned at a recent San Pedro grunion run that climate change has reduced grunion populations. ...

    #wildlife #strangethings #water #coolit #life #people #travel #tellyourpollutionstory #nature

    Approximately 300km Northeast of Rio de Janeiro, there is a place called Atafona. Due to the geol...

    #abanboned #climate_change #ruins #beach #house

    Spring comes earlier for every year in the Norwegian arctic. This is from Bjørnefjell (Bear Moun...

    #climate #nordland #norway #snow #spring #coolit #bjornefjell #windmill #nature #melting

    Editor's Note

    Here the photographer has smartly combined two elements of the climate change discussion in one image. We see the snows of Norway that have been melting earlier in spring due to rising temperatures... More

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    Original Title: "Hot Yoga Under Cool Supertrees". Cities cover just 2% of the world’s land area, ...

    #supertree #global_warming #yoga #singapore

    Editor's Note

    An attractive image combining several novel elements: big artificial trees, the sun, and an interesting group of people with their towels on the ground. This image conjures a sunny future, one wher... More

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    Selected images from this assignment will be published in the November 2015 issue of National Geographic, a special single topic issue devoted to climate change.

    Thank you for your engagement and contributions to this project, and may future assignments bring you creative satisfaction.

    With this photo I wanted to create a unique and symbolic image regarding climate change in the NW...

    #climate #abstract #conceptual #water #symbolic #art #creation #nature

    Editor's Note

    This image is a valiant attempt to symbolize the impact of a changing climate in this photographer’s life. While I do not see it as a fully successful visual attempt, for an extensive caption is ne... More

    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment

    About the Editors
    Jessie Wender
    Jessie Wender
    Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine
    Jessie Wender is a senior photo editor at National Geographic magazine where she commissions and researches features and the magazine's short form sections, including Visions, Proof, and Departments. She loves working with artists and with creative people, and is a huge supporter of emerging photographers.
    Dennis Dimick
    Dennis Dimick
    National Geographic Executive Editor, Environment
    Dennis Dimick is National Geographic's executive editor for the environment, and grew up hiking and fishing in the national forests of Oregon's Cascade Mountains. An avid hobby photographer, he has been a picture editor at the National Geographic Society since 1980.

    Photographers Published In the Story