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23 August 2011

Chacaltaya, Bolivia

The snow-covered peaks of Chacaltaya Mountain tower over the Bolivian capital, La Paz, rising 17,800 feet above sea level. The Chacaltaya glacier is more than 18,000 years old, and its meltwater is an important resource for the inhabitants of La Paz. In the last 20 years, however, the glacier has shrunk 80 percent in volume. With temperatures expected to continue to rise, the glacier could eventually disappear completely.

20 August 2011

The Battery, NYC, U.S.A

The southern shoreline of Manhattan, known as the Battery, has been a popular promenade since the 17th century. About every 100 years the area experiences extreme flooding that reaches heights of up to 10 feet. These floods could worsen and become much more common over the next few decades as a result of increasingly frequent storms and rising sea levels.

17 August 2011

Big Sur, California, U.S.A

This famed 90-mile stretch of coastline, located between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the United States. Like much of California, Big Sur has been hard hit over the past few decades by drought and rising temperatures. This change in climate is leading to more frequent wildfires, which could devastate the region’s ecosystems.

14 August 2011


More than 4 million people live in Caracas—2 million of them in barrios on the slopes that surround the city. Landslides caused by heavy rain are a chronic problem. In 1999, in one of the Americas’ worst natural disasters, 30,000 people were killed in flash floods triggered by several days of rainstorms. Such extreme weather is projected to hit Caracas more frequently and with increasing force.

11 August 2011

Columbia River, U.S.A.

Forming much of the border between the states of Oregon and Washington, the Columbia River is the largest North American river, by volume, that flows into the Pacific Ocean. Salmon hatch in its waters, migrate downstream to the Pacific Ocean, and return against the current to breed. The fish are threatened by efforts to dam the river for electricity generation. Rising temperatures will add to their troubles.

08 August 2011

Veracruz, Mexico

Small farmers in east-central Mexico produce organic shade coffee, an essential export. For years these farmers have suffered from low coffee prices. In the near future, however, the odd combination of drought and flooding during the summer months and unusually harsh winters is expected to take its toll on the land.

05 August 2011

Western Hudson Bay, Canada

For much of the year, polar bears roam the frozen Hudson Bay, hunting for seals. In the western portion of the bay, the ice begins to melt in late spring. The polar bears then go into hibernation, living off reserves of body fat until the sea freezes again. The ice now breaks up three weeks earlier than it did in the early 1970s, limiting the endangered bears’ access to food.

02 August 2011

Charlevoix, Quebec

Dominated by conifers and broad-leaved trees such as birch, aspen, rowan, and poplar, Quebec’s Charlevoix region is a breeding ground for more than 200 bird species and home to caribou, lynx, black bear, moose, coyote, timber wolf, wood bison, grizzly bear, beaver, and other mammals. For the rest of the century, rising temperatures are expected to threaten Canada’s boreal forest and its diverse wildlife.