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We look back on the year of climate change and the disasters that we will experience more often when our world is changed by climate-damaging fossil fuels.
Posted on Dec 28, 2021 at 5:52 pm ET
If you think the pandemic will drag on forever, prepare for our future of climate change. This year felt like one major disaster followed another, with heat waves, cyclones, fires, floods, and freezing weather all adding to a fatal year – and the death toll was alarmingly low. Concerns for resources, especially water, are growing as the drought persists in the west. Government action to combat climate change remains stalled and limited.
We look back on the year of climate change and the disasters that get worse and more frequent as our world is transformed by climate-damaging fossil fuels.
A woman is holding a dog as forest fires approach the village of Pefki on Evia, Greece’s second largest island, on August 8, 2021.
People are wading in Barataria on August 31, 2021, Louisiana, by water. Ida hit land as a Category 4 hurricane in Louisiana on August 29, causing flooding and wind damage along the Gulf Coast.
Barren fields that were once row crops are now on a farm in town on July 23, 2021 Huron, California seen in the drought-stricken Central Valley. Before the drought, the fields were sown with hemp or garlic plants, but due to California water restrictions, the farm decided not to plant.
A news crew films a storm surge pushing water from Lake Pontchartrain over Lakeshore Drive when the The effects of Hurricane Ida will begin to be felt on August 29, 2021 in New Orleans.
On July 19, 2021 cows stand in a stable on a flooded meadow in Kaprun in the Austrian Alps.
A farm worker who refused to give his name, wiping sweat off his neck at work in St. Paul, Oregon on July 1, 2021 as a heatwave heated the Pacific Northwest at record temperatures. Another farm laborer died in St. Paul earlier that year from exposure to heat at work.
People are resting in the cooling station of the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon on June 28, 2021 as a heat wave swept across much of the United States States moved. Parts of the United States and Canada suffered record-breaking heat in June, forcing schools and COVID-19 test centers to close and an Olympic track and field qualifying event to be postponed, with forecasters warning of worse.
A chairlift in the Sierra Ski Resort at-Tahoe stands still as the Caldor Fire sweeps through the area on August 30, 2021 in Twin Bridges, California.
Battalion Commander Sergio Mora watches the Dixie Fire sweep through the Greenville community on August 4, 2021 sweeping in Plumas County, California. The fire destroyed several historic buildings and dozen of homes in central Greenville.
This photo shows cars and homes that were destroyed by the Dixie Fire in central Greenville, Plumas County, California on August 5, 2021. </ Christine Abbott with her dog at Spudz Camps just outside Lytton, British Columbia on September 3, 2021 after wildfire destroyed their home this summer. Lytton, located 255 miles northeast of Vancouver, gained international attention for breaking a new Canadian heat record of 121.3 Fahrenheit before being devastated days later by a fire that killed at least two residents.
People take part in a protest during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in Glasgow, Scotland on November 6th, 2021.
About 100 youth protesters will participate in a “die-in” action on September 24th, 2021 near the U.S. Capitol as part of a global day of strike organized by multiple groups to put pressure on elected officials to address the climate change crisis.
Tania Aubid, longtime activist and member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, speaks to protesters in St. Paul, Minnesota on January 29, 2021 about the environmental and human risks posed by the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota.
A resident ste ht near mud and debris at the site of a landslide after days of heavy rain in Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, on July 3, 2021.
A village is destroyed on July 15, 2021 by the flooding of the Kyll in Rhineland -Pfalz, Kordel, Germany flooded.
A kayaker paddles down part of Interstate 676 after being inundated by heavy rains from Hurricane Ida in Philadelphia on September 2, 2021. Flash floods caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida killed at least 44 people in four northeastern US states, including several who were killed in basements during the historic weather event, officials blamed for climate change.
One person takes a photo of the Schuylkill River after flooding the Manayunk section of Philadelphia following Hurricane Ida on September 2, 2021. As the weather becomes more extreme and unpredictable due to climate change, transport authorities say more needs to be done to prepare the east coast’s vital transit systems.
Amit Shivprasad, in the foreground, works in front of his parents’ house on September 17, 2021 New York borough of Queens. He and his parents lived with a relative since the floods from the remnants of Hurricane Ida made their home inhospitable. In a flood, part of a basement wall collapsed, allowing water to flow into a basement apartment, where a woman and her adult son died.
Flood damage was found in Waverly, Tennessee on August 22, 2021. A catastrophic flood in central Tennessee left several people dead and dozens missing as record-breaking rainfall washed away homes and highways.
An aerial view of damaged homes after devastating tornadoes in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on December 15, 2021. Researchers continue to investigate possible links between tornadoes and climate change.
This aerial photo shows the tall, bleached “bathtub ring” on the rocky shores of Lake Powell on June 24, 2021 in Page, Arizona. Lake Powell currently has 34.56% capacity, an all time low. The lake sits 138.91 feet below the full pool and has sunk 44 feet last year.
Rangers from the Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy deliver water from a tanker for wildlife at the wildlife sanctuary in Wajir County, Kenya, Oct. 26, 2021. As leaders address a global climate summit in the UK, the drought in northern Kenya had subsided, the latest in a string of climate shocks affecting the Horn of Africa.
A BuzzFeed News research conducted in partnership with International Consortium of Investigative Journalists based on thousands of documents the government refused to see.
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