These Terrifying Photos of Weather-Related Chaos Show Earth’s Climate Crisis Firsthand
One product of our surreal age is that the all-consuming maelstrom of news swirling out of wherever Donald Trump is at any given moment—has essentially buried the fact that the world is on fire. No, really. It's on fire. The West Coast is on fire. Greece is on fire. Also, Myanmar is drowning in floodwater. A powerful typhoon slammed into Japan. India is wading through the remnants of a monsoon's deluge. Turkey is flooded. Laos is flooded. Ukraine is flooded. The earth beneath Germany is cracking up, starved of water amid a persistent drought. A heatwave swept through Russia and sent temperatures soaring above 100 degrees. It hit 90 in Siberia.
Attribution science, which ties exacerbated weather conditions to changing structural forces due to climate change, is still emerging as a field of study. But it seems inevitable now that we will learn all of these developments were made that much worse by our warming climate. There is a very real risk that the defining issue of our time—a unique threat to human civilisation as we know it—will have taken a back seat through this entire era as we discussed Brexit and porn-star payoffs. How will you explain it to your children?
In the meantime, have a look at some of the most captivating photos showcasing the diversity of chaos that has engulfed much of the world.
A wildfire known as the Carr fire rages in Northern California, where at least six people have been killed and dozens missing. Here, flames tower above firefighters on July 27.
The Carr fire is so intense that it's creating its own weather system. Here, burned-up vehicles sit at a property under a deep orange sky on July 27.
A collection of antique cars lie in rubble in a devastated neighbourhood on July 29.
A view of homes that were destroyed by the Carr Fire on July 27. A Redding firefighter and bulldozer operator were killed battling the fast moving Carr Fire that has burned over 44,000 acres and destroyed dozens of homes.
Firefighters douse a hotspot near various homes on July 28.
A firefighter lights backfires during the Carr fire on July 27, 2018.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
A helicopter helps battle a wildfire near the historic Griffith Observatory and the iconic Hollywood sign on July 10.
Monsoon rains in Southeast Asia have brought about flooding that has killed at least 10 people in Myanmar and led to the evacuation of 50,0oo others. Here, residents walk in floodwaters on July 29.
Residents ride in the back of a truck through floodwaters on July 29.
Residents hold onto a child as they walk through floodwaters on July 29.
A motorcyclist rides through floodwaters, as a poster for Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is seen in the background on July 29.
A man loads belongings on a tractor near his flooded home on July 26.
YUGAWARA BEACH, JAPAN
Typhoon Jongdari made landfall in Japan over the weekend. Here, workers try to remove debris of seaside houses after they were destroyed by high waves on July 29.
YUGAWARA BEACH, JAPAN
Workers try to remove debris of seaside houses after they were destroyed by high waves on July 29.
A week earlier, an unprecedented heat wave settled over Japan, killing at least 65 people in a matter of days. Here, a man in Tokyo wipes sweat from his head on July 24.
Heavy monsoon rains in India have led to intense flooding. Last week, a patient and relatives sat in hospital beds inside a waterlogged room at Nalanda Medical College and Hospital.
Traffic moves through flooded streets. Spells of rain and thundershower occurred in Kolkata and others part of West Bengal on July 26.
NEW DELHI, INDIA
Civil Defense volunteers help local residents, who were staying on Yamuna flood plains, urging them to shift to higher grounds as water levels of the Yamuna River rise on July 29.
Intense rain also caused flooding in Turkey. Here, people stand around and atop a partially submerged vehicle in a flooded underpass following the heavy rain in Turkey on July 25.
A house destroyed by wildfires in the Mati region of Athens on July 27. More than 90 people, including many tourists, have died as a result of wildfires in Greece.
People watch a wildfire in the town of Rafina, near Athens, on July 23.
Damaged vehicles in a open parking area of northern Athens on July 26.
People stand in a flooded underpass following heavy rain on July. 25.
A heatwave has blanketed parts of the arctic circle, where wildfires have raged. Residents of the Russian city of Murmansk, located inside the arctic circle, bath in Lake Semyonovskoye on July 20. Temperatures climbed above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Murmansk.
Temperatures in France and other areas of Northern Europe have reached or topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit amid a weeks-long heat wave with no end in sight. Here, people cool themselves at the Fontaine du Trocadero in front of The Eiffel Tower on July 25.
Cracks have formed on the banks of the Rhine River as a result of the persistent drought on July 27.
A woman stands on the banks of the Rhine between Bingen and Rüdesheim, while an inland vessel is moving up the river in the very narrow fairway due to the low water level on July 27.
Firefighters tackle a forest fire near Potsdam in eastern Germany on July 26.
A charred forest in Sweden on July 26.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.