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Editor's note: As the 2021 U.N. Climate Change Summit convenes, NPR's Picture Show is taking a look at work by artists and visual journalists that highlight climate change.


Vlad Sokhin's interest in climate change came from his own global upbringing.

You know what they say about birds of a feather.

A pair of bald eagles was recently caught on camera entangled, talons seemingly interlocked, on a Minnesota street.

The two birds writhed around together and at times cried out, but for minutes they were unable to separate themselves from each other.

"I don't know what to do with them," Plymouth police officer Mitchell Martinson can be heard saying in body camera video recorded at the scene. "They're definitely locked together, kind of out of energy."

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley wants richer countries to stop throwing garbage in her yard and then telling her to clean it up.

The garbage, in this case, is greenhouse gas emissions that fuel more extreme storms and hurricanes, causing widespread destruction which can cost billions of dollars. At the Glasgow climate negotiations, Mottley is leading a push for richer countries to compensate poorer ones for the "loss and damage" caused by climate change.

The United States and China — the world's top two greenhouse gas-emitting countries, which together account for about 40% of the world's annual carbon output — announced Wednesday they have agreed to cooperate on limiting emissions to address the global climate crisis.

In 1858, sewage clogging London's Thames River caused a "Great Stink." A century later, parts of the famed waterway were declared biologically dead.

But the latest report on "The State of the Thames" is sounding a surprisingly optimistic note.

At the COP26 U.N. climate summit, some of those with the most to lose insist they aren't victims, they're warriors.

"As a Pacific Islander, a lot of people think my role here at COP is to come and cry, like I owe them my trauma, when I don't owe you my trauma," said 23-year-old Brianna Fruean, a climate activist from Samoa.

Fruean opened the first day of the summit in Glasgow, Scotland, speaking directly to the heads of state from all over the world.

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As young climate activists descended on Glasgow for the COP26 UN climate summit, Vanessa Nakate was faced with a familiar yet sad experience: Being pushed to the side.

"I think it's not just my experience. There are many activists from the global south who have been sidelined at the conference," she said.

Nakate is no stranger to the world stage or being erased from the record, having attended another summit last year in Davos, Switzerland.

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At a small house outside of Nairobi, Kenya, a big event took place on a late October afternoon — one that also has big repercussions for climate change. Winifred Mumbua Muisyo got electricity at her home for the first time.

An installer from the solar company d.light climbed onto her metal roof and attached a small solar panel. He then began connecting the appliances that come with it: several lights, a phone charger and a small television.

Countries' latest pledges to cut their greenhouse gas emissions are still not enough to avoid the most devastating consequences of a changing climate, according to a new analysis.

They're the invisible victims of climate change

Nov 9, 2021

There are many people who are vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

At COP26, the global climate change summit now going on in Glasgow, for example, we have heard about the plight of "climate refugees." These are people whose ability to earn a meaningful livelihood is permanently impacted by unseasonal rains, harsher winters, drier summers and other impacts attributed to the changing climate.

And so they may have to find a new home in order to survive. They will become climate refugees.

In a crowded house above a pub in Scotland, Ruth Miller is busy planning her next move.

The 24-year-old Climate Justice Director for the Alaska-based grassroots group, Native Movement, is one of nine young people squeezed into the four-bedroom rental in between attending events at the COP26 UN climate summit.

But even having to stay an hour's drive outside of the main conference venue, they are among the activists who are insisting the politicians, dignitaries, and negotiators hear their stories, voices, and expertise.

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Subpoenas by a House committee show how they're investigating the attack on the Capitol.

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There's one number heard more than any other from the podiums at the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland: 1.5 degrees Celsius.

That's the global climate change goal world leaders agreed to strive for. By limiting the planet's warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, by 2100, the hope is to stave off severe climate disruptions that could exacerbate hunger, conflict and drought worldwide.

CHIBAISH, Iraq — A water buffalo, her stomach bloated and haunches sunken, lies dying on a dry expanse of cracked earth. Her calf nuzzles her but she doesn't respond. A few yards away, another water buffalo, all skin and bone, wallows in the mud at the edge of the drying marsh waters.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – For more than a century, a wide, low seawall has protected the country of Guyana from the depravations of the Atlantic Ocean.

Today, the weathered old seawall is a cheerful place. Vendors sell beer and coconut water, blasting local radio stations as they look out over muddy waters. Kids play, couples flirt. Exhausted workers catch a cool breeze after another 90-degree day in the capital city of Georgetown.

Thousands of people gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, and around the world on Saturday to protest a lack of global action to combat climate change.

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In a groundbreaking move this week, the city of Ithaca, New York, voted to decarbonize and electrify buildings in the city by the end of the decade — a goal that was part of the city's own Green New Deal and one of the portions of the plan that will help the city become carbon neutral by 2030.

If nations honor their latest pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the rise in average global temperatures by the end of the century could be held to 1.8 degrees Celsius, a new analysis by International Energy Agency says.

That's short of a goal set by world leaders six years ago, but far less than the trajectory that the planet is on today, says the agency, part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The current rate of greenhouse gas pollution is so high that Earth has about 11 years to rein in emissions if countries want to avoid the worst damage from climate change in the future, a new study concludes.

Despite dipping in 2020 because of the global pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions are on track to return to pre-pandemic levels, according to the annual Global Carbon Budget report.

GLASGOW, Scotland — Prime Minister Boris Johnson opened this week's climate summit in Glasgow by warning world leaders to take the necessary measures to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, or face catastrophic damage from climate change.

As world leaders meet in Glasgow to try to curb planet-warming emissions an uncomfortable reality underlies their efforts: They've gathered on a shrinking island in a rising sea, where temperatures are already hotter and storms more severe.

A new report by the United Nations says that some impacts from climate change are already irreversible, and our efforts to adapt are lagging.

Meanwhile, a gap is growing between the amount of money that's available — and what's needed — to protect communities from rising seas, hotter temperatures and worsening storms.

MUMBAI — At a coal depot tucked away in an urban slum, Abdul Moeed Chaudhary surveys his workers. Wiry men wearing flip-flops shovel heaps of coal into mounds that reach the rafters several stories high. Clouds of black dust billow up. Nobody is wearing a mask.

The biggest animals to have ever lived on Earth gobble up much more food than scientists thought, according to a new study of filter-feeding whales that reveals just how important their eating habits could be for recycling nutrients in the ocean.

Vinisha Umashankar was returning to her home in southern India from school a few years ago when she saw a man throwing away burnt charcoal on the side of the street.

He was an ironing vendor who pressed people's clothes for a living – and his main appliance was an old-fashioned iron box, which he filled with hot charcoal that emitted a cloud of smoke. Umashankar counted at least six such vendors in her neighborhood in the temple town of Tiruvannamalai alone. She started thinking about how this was happening across India, where the ironing vendor is a fixture.

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At 22 years old, Hilda Flavia Nakabuye stepped onto a very big stage. The audience was filled with hundreds of international delegates attending the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, where countries were hashing out efforts to slow climate change.

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