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ANTARCTIC ICE MELT: Some of the massive glaciers in Antarctica, such as Marr Ice Piedmont pictured here, are thinning and racing to the sea at a faster rate. Some ice shelves, such as Larsen B, have disintegrated altogether. View slideshow of all images. Image: © 2007 BY GARY BRAASCH
Glacier National Park in the U.S. may soon lose the reason for its name. Spring comes earlier in the high reaches of the Arctic. And 11 of the last 12 years rank among the warmest since record keeping began in 1850.
Climate change has become not only a problem for future generations but a current event that portends catastrophe. The effects of global warming can be seen in retreating glaciers, threatened animals and plants as well as rising seas. Addressing the problem will require humanity to both cut back on the greenhouse gas emissions that warm our world and adapt to a climate that is already in a state of flux, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The need for smart solutions is already evident. It can be seen in the following images, captured largely by photographer Gary Braasch and published in his book Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming Is Changing the World (University of California Press, 2007), which chronicles some of the impacts of climate change around the world: