Photographers documenting the impacts of climate change in 2022 reveal the issue not only as a threat to the environment, but also to billions of people worldwide.
The realities are setting in year after year, especially in regions where the impacts of climate change on extreme weather are creeping up and impacting people from all walks of life. In many places from Greece and Italy, to Indonesia, Brazil and Australia where both floods and wildfires are causing people to lose their homes and ravaging entire cities, solutions for how to prevent and prepare for natural disasters in the future seem more urgent than ever.
In India and Pakistan, record-breaking heat waves were also followed by monsoon flooding, putting about one third of Pakistan under water and impacting over 30 million people. The United States had to not only deal with the devastating effects of Hurricane Ian, but also saw unprecedented low levels in the Colorado River reservoirs, while floods hit Death Valley in California’s Mojave Desert – the country’s lowest point of elevation.
While the links to rising temperatures through greenhouse gas emissions and extreme weather have been made clear by scientists, the UN Climate Conference COP27 hosted in Egypt last month revealed just how crucial dealing with climate change is when it comes to its impacts on human beings: The Loss and Damage fund signed after debates went on two days later than planned, is meant to provide relief for the billions of people living in areas impacted by climate change, namely the Global South. While discussions surrounding global warming and how to approach it come from all angles from economy, technology, politics to human rights, photography is the ultimate tool for addressing issues that in cases like climate change, sometimes need to be seen to be believed.
The power of photography lies in its ability to tell the truth and document what is happening thousands of kilometers away. When we speak about climate change, it is often the imagery that comes to mind first and foremost, providing a form of photographic evidence and highlighting different aspects through visual communication.
IMAGO’s database is a constant witness to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather on people in cities across the globe – from floods and droughts, to hurricanes and wildfires. In a year where the looming risks of climate change have been ever present through countless extreme weather events, take a look at some that stood out to us the most.
See IMAGO’s curated collection: Climate change 2022 impressions worldwide.
Other previous articles on climate change include:
Article and image selection by Sofia Bergmann.