Photographers Chronicle How Climate Change Is Altering Communities

Project documents drought, deforestation, disappearing glaciers, pollution from fossil fuel extraction, desertification, extreme temperatures.

A child sits on a discarded chair in a flooded district in northern Jakarta. The Indonesian capital is one of the world's most vulnerable cities to climate change. 40 percent of the city is below sea-level resulting in frequent flooding from rising seas and severe weather events. Credit: Sean Gallagher

Share this article

A coalition of some the world’s top photographers launched a project this month that provides visual documentation of how climate change is altering communities, wildlife and landscapes across the globe—and measures to help prepare for and adapt to the changes.

The venture, known as EveryDayClimateChange, is housed on the popular image-sharing app Instagram. It includes pictures taken by the photographers on five continents over the past several years as they’ve traveled the world on assignment.

Within the last week, it has featured dispatches from far-flung locales including Tibet, Papua New Guinea and Yemen, as well as areas closer to home, such as the Colorado River and New York City. It has chronicled drought, invasive species, deforestation, disappearing glaciers, pollution from fossil fuel extraction, desertification, and extreme temperatures, among other topics. In its first week it has gathered 1,750 followers on Instagram and 630 more on Facebook.


Click to view the slideshow, 21 Photos From the Frontlines of Climate Change.

EveryDayClimateChange is the brainchild of Toyko-based photographer James Whitlow Delano, who has been documenting climate change for news outlets for 20 years. “Climate isn’t the sexiest of stories,” he told InsideClimate News. But photographs offer a visually gripping way of showing just how widespread and devastating the impacts are, he said.

Delano began contacting fellow photographers in November and quickly assembled a coalition of nearly three-dozen collaborators willing to donate their images and time to the project. EveryDayClimateChange has no funding, relying instead on the photographers to upload their own images to the project’s Instagram account, as well as write captions to put the images into context.

“Climate change is such a loaded term, and the public dialogue is so disingenuous, so off the mark from the conversation we need to be having,” said Ed Kashi, one of the project’s collaborators whose work has been featured in National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker, among others. “Whether this project makes someone think about this more or spurs action, both are mini-victories that add up to systemic change. That’s what we need.”