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10 Images That Explain What to Expect From Climate Change

10 Images That Explain What to Expect From Climate Change

Although carbon emissions in early 2020 plunged thanks to COVID-related lockdowns around the world, they rebounded quite quickly. As we near the end of 2021, many economies are starting to see carbon emissions climb to levels close to or even higher than pre-pandemic averages.

The damage of greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere cannot be reversed overnight. Some things are sure to get worse: The world will get hotter, the glaciers will continue to melt a bit, sea levels will rise, storm events will hit us harder, and people will suffer.

And yet there were still signs of hope this year that solutions to climate change were on the horizon. COP26, the UN climate change conference originally slated for 2020 before the pandemic pushed it back to this past November, led to some surprisingly optimistic agreements from world leaders to reduce carbon emissions and work together to expand programs that would move national economies toward renewable energies. It also provided new frameworks for building resilient infrastructure to mitigate the effects of climate, provide more resources to developing countries, and invest in more radical innovations rarely taken seriously in years past.

Climate change in 2022 doesn’t exactly look bright, but it does have bright spots. Here are 10 images that explain what we can look forward to—and what we ought to prepare for.

Four New NASA Earth Science Missions

NASA’s Earth Science program under Donald Trump was defined by spending cuts and mission cancellations. The Biden administration is looking to reverse those trends quickly and beef up the fleet of satellites the agency uses to monitor climate changes across the globe.

It’s not all doom and gloom. (Just mostly.)