A large part of the Oceania’s Pacific Islands, population ten million, could become uninhabitable by the end of the century, and the rising level of the ocean is already having a devastating effect on the lives of island dwellers in the region.
Vlad Sokhin’s photos illustrate how the everyday lives of the residents of Pacific islands is impacted by rising sea levels. The acclaimed photographer, whose work has appeared in The Guardian and National Geographic, has been following the struggle of Oceanians with the water for a long time. He wants his projects to raise awareness of the fact that climate change is already well underway: a great many people are already forced to seek new homes due to the rising waters.
Warm Waters is a long-term photographic project that Sokhin launched with the express intention of showing how the life of island communities living in the Pacific Region is being impacted by climate change, which he considers to be the gravest environmental problem in the history of humanity.
The series brings home the fact that climate change is not a remote, potential reality, not the problem of future generations, but an immediate and urgent problem that we need to deal with now.
The series of photos entitled The World’s First Climate Refugees is about people who have lost everything as a result of climate change: the rising waters have forced them to leave their homes behind, with little possibility of ever returning.
These people are refugees. They are not seeking refuge from wars or oppressive governments, but from the consequences of climate change.
“Ice is the canary in the global coal mine. It’s the place where we can see and touch and hear and feel climate change in action.” Internationally recognised nature photographer James Balog believes it is extremely important to pay attention to the processes underway in the polar regions.
Rising sea levels caused by climate change and global warming are an increasing threat to the Netherlands, so the Dutch have started using an innovative device, a storm surge barrier to protect against them. The world’s largest storm surge barrier was built in the south of the country, at Maeslantkering.
The melting of glaciers has broken new records in Switzerland this year; they lost two percent of their ice mass this summer, while over the last five years, they have lost 10 percent of their volume altogether, which is unprecedented in the existing records spanning over 100 years.
The typhoon raging in Japan has claimed more than fifty lives; the number of injured has exceeded two hundred.
As a result of climate change, humanity is expected to face growing numbers of destructive storms in the future.
The rising sea levels and melting permafrost caused by climate change are causing crisis situations in a number of places around the world, resulting in tens of thousands of people having to leave their homes, while important agricultural areas also fall victim to the changes.
Climate change is causing severe problems in Antarctica, too: recently, a piece of ice weighing 315 billion tonnes broke off the area, while scientists investigating satellite images covering an area of 5 million square kilometres found tens of thousands of meltwater lakes, which indicates severe problems.
Massive snowstorms hit a number of north-western and northern states of the USA on 29 September.
Monsoon rain accompanied by storms and lightning hit the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India on 27 September. Tempestuous winds toppled trees and utility poles and tore off roofs, killing more than a hundred people.
On 24 September, the Fondazione Montagna Sicura (Safe Mountain Foundation) issued an avalanche warning on the Planpincieux Glacier, which is located on the eastern slope of the Grandes Jorasses peak.