Two RCMP police officers wear gas masks in the smoke from the wildfires near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on 6 May 2016. Photo: Mark Blinch / Reuters

31 December 2016 (Desdemona Despair) – Another disastrous year for wildlife, another year closer to living under green skies. The year 2016 saw the largest number of refugees since World War Two and the worst bleaching ever recorded in the Great Barrier Reef. The dissolution of coral reefs globally may be an apt metaphor for the foundations of civil society and their fragility: slow erosion punctuated by sudden, catastrophic failure.

Bleached soft coral in the Lakshadweep Reefs, May 2016. Photo: Nature Conservation Foundation

Bleached soft coral in the Lakshadweep Reefs, May 2016. Photo: Nature Conservation Foundation

India coral reefs experiencing widespread bleaching, scientist says

Bushfires threaten a structure in Tasmania, 21 January 2016. Photo: AAP

Bushfire threatens a structure in Tasmania, 21 January 2016. The fires destroyed vegetation that is unique to Tasmania, including iconic alpine species, such as the Pencil Pine and cushion plants, as well as temperate rainforests. The fires burned up large areas of organic soils, on which the unique Tasmanian vegetation depends. It is extremely unlikely burnt areas with the endemic alpine flora will ever fully recover. Photo: AAP

Fires in Tasmania’s ancient forests are a warning for all of us

Area blackened in northern Tasmania after bushfire, 30 January 2016. Photo: Dan Broun

Area blackened in northern Tasmania after bushfire, 30 January 2016. The first images to emerge from within Tasmania's fire-affected World Heritage Area (WHA) illustrated the level of destruction caused by bushfire, as experts warned such incidents are signs of a changing climate. Photo: Dan Broun

Tasmania fires: First images of World Heritage Area devastation emerge, show signs of system collapse – ‘The scene is complete and utter devastation. There is kilometres of burnt ground, everything is dead.’

A wall of smoke and fire looms over a village in Buryatia, Siberia, 11 May 2016. Photo: Vkontakte / Siberian Times

A wall of smoke and fire looms over a village in Buryatia, Siberia, 11 May 2016. Photo: Vkontakte / Siberian Times

Wildfires rage in Siberia and Russian Far East

This natural-color image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite on 19 September 2016. Red outlines show warm land surface temperatures — a sign of fire. Photo: LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response

Smoke from forest fires covers a wide area of Siberia, on 19 September 2016. This natural-color image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite. Red outlines show warm land surface temperatures — a sign of fire. Photo: LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response

Image of the Day: Satellite view of Siberia wildfires in September 2016

The sun shines through dense smoke from fires at Fort McMurray, Alberta, 3 May 2016. Photo: Ben Bennett / Instagram

The sun shines through dense smoke from fires at Fort McMurray, Alberta, 3 May 2016. Photo: Ben Bennett / Instagram

Video: Largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history forces tens of thousands of Fort McMurray residents to flee

Smoke and flames from the wildfires erupt behind a car on the highway near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, 7 May 2016. Photo: Mark Blinch / REUTERS

Smoke and flames from wildfires erupt behind a car on the highway near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on 7 May 2016. Photo: Mark Blinch / REUTERS

Homecoming begins for residents of fire-ravaged Canadian city – ‘It is not a clean, safe, normal environment that you're walking into’, Unusual heat wave fuels fire at Fort McMurray

Photographer Sebastian Copeland was trekking in the Canadian Arctic when he came across this distressing sight of a polar bear's emaciated corpse on a patch of rocky ground. The animal starved to death as a result of climate change which have caused the ice to retreat, making it impossible to hunt seals. Photo: Sebastian Copeland

Sebastian Copeland was trekking in the Canadian Arctic when he came across a polar bear’s emaciated corpse surrounded in molted fur on a patch of rocky ground. Mr. Copeland believes it serves as a graphic illustration of the plight facing polar bears as the sea ice retreats, making it harder to hunt seals and forcing them further inland for food. Photo: Sebastian Copeland

Photographer captures heartbreaking image of Arctic polar bear which ‘starved to death as a result of climate change’

No snow, no ice? A solitary bear sits on the edge of one of the Barter Islands in 2016. There is no snow, when at this time of year, there should be. In speaking with the locals in Kaktovic, they've noted that it's been an unseasonably warm winter, and that the ice will be late in forming this year. This will have an impact on the local polar bear population, when it comes time to hunt seals for their food in the winter months. Photo: Patty Waymire / National Geographic Your Shot

A solitary polar bear sits on the edge of one of the Barter Islands in 2016. There is no snow, when at this time of year, there should be. Photo: Patty Waymire / National Geographic Your Shot

Photo gallery: National Geographic asked photographers to show the impact of climate change, here’s what they shot

In this photo taken on Sunday, 28 February 2016, Fur Rondy mushers drive their dog teams down a ribbon of snow that was placed on 4th Avenue in a snowless downtown Anchorage for the annual winter festival event. In the 2015-2016 season, Alaska had the second-warmest December through February of the last century, and many parts of the state, including Anchorage, are seeing their warmest winters ever. Photo: Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News

In this photo taken on Sunday, 28 February 2016, Fur Rondy mushers drive their dog teams down a ribbon of snow that was placed on 4th Avenue in a snowless downtown Anchorage for the annual winter festival event. In the 2015-2016 season, Alaska had the second-warmest December through February of the last century, and many parts of the state, including Anchorage, saw their warmest winters ever. Photo: Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News

In the Iditarod, global warming makes it a year for the record books – ‘I’m not sure winter ever came to south-central Alaska’

A sculpture named 'Unbearable' at front of Christiansborg Palace, seat of the Danish Parliament, in Copenhagen. Photo: Reuters

A sculpture, named Unbearable, in front of Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, the seat of the Danish Parliament. Photo: Reuters

Image of the Day: Sculpture of impaled polar bear on display in Denmark

On 10 November 2016, scientists on NASA's IceBridge mission photographed an oblique view of a massive rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. Icebridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, completed an eighth consecutive Antarctic deployment on 18 November 2016. Photo: John Sonntag / NASA

On 10 November 2016, scientists on NASA's IceBridge mission photographed an oblique view of a massive rift in the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. Icebridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, completed an eighth consecutive Antarctic deployment on 18 November 2016. Photo: John Sonntag / NASA

NASA captures image of Antarctic ice shelf rift that will produce an iceberg the size of Delaware

Aerial view of houses destroyed by Cyclone Winston on Fiji's Koro Island, 24 Feburary 2016. Photo: Brant Cumming / ABC News

Aerial view of houses destroyed by Cyclone Winston on Fiji's Koro Island, 24 Feburary 2016. Photo: Brant Cumming / ABC News

Cyclone Winston: Fiji death toll reaches 42 with entire villages wiped out on remote islands – ‘Maybe by next week there will be no more food’, Photo gallery: Aftermath of Cyclone Winston in Fiji

A woman holds a baby sitting by a fire near the northern Greek border station of Idomeni, Thursday, 3 March 2016. Some thousands of refugees and migrants wait on the border between Greece and Macedonia and about 30,000 refugees and other migrants are stranded in Greece. Photo: Vadim Ghirda / AP Photo

A woman holds a baby sitting by a fire near the northern Greek border station of Idomeni, Thursday, 3 March 2016. Some thousands of refugees and migrants waited on the border between Greece and Macedonia and about 30,000 refugees and other migrants were stranded in Greece. Photo: Vadim Ghirda / AP Photo

UN warns of imminent humanitarian crisis in Greece amid disarray in Europe over asylum

A crucifix and a radiation warning sign in front of apartment buildings in the ghost city Pripyat near to Chernobyl Power Plant, 22 January 2016. Photo: Genya Savilov / AFP / Getty Images 

A crucifix and a radiation warning sign in front of apartment buildings in the ghost city Pripyat near the Chernobyl Power Plant, 22 January 2016. Photo: Genya Savilov / AFP / Getty Images

Chernobyl 30 years on: former residents remember life in the ghost city of Pripyat

11 March 2016, the canal connecting the Ganges to coal-fired power station dried up because of a lack of water. By next day, authorities were forced to suspend generation at the 2,300-megawatt plant in Farakka town causing shortages in India's power grid. Photo: Ronny Sen / BBC News

By 11 March 2016, the canal connecting the Ganges to coal-fired power station dried up because of a lack of water. By next day, authorities were forced to suspend generation at the 2,300-megawatt plant in Farakka town causing shortages in India's power grid. Photo: Ronny Sen / BBC News

Is India facing its worst-ever water crisis? ‘The unthinkable is happening’

A field in Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam, that was abandoned due to the region's worst drought on record, 1 March 2016. Irrigation canals and lakes are also dried up and the biggest fear of the farmer is saltwater intrusion. If they try to pump water from canals to their fields, their rice will die faster. Photo: VietNamNet Bridge

A field in Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam, that was abandoned due to the region's worst drought on record, 1 March 2016. Irrigation canals and lakes also dried up, and the biggest fear of the farmer is saltwater intrusion. If they try to pump water from canals to their fields, their rice will die faster. Photo: VietNamNet Bridge

Vietnam’s southern Mekong Delta faces worst drought in history – ‘Those who have rice in hands will make fat profits’

Caimans were hit particularly hard when Paraguay's Pilcomayo River dried up in 2016. In some places along the river, they lost 98 percent of their population. Photo: Jorge Adorno / Reuters

Caimans (Caiman yacare) were hit particularly hard when Paraguay's Pilcomayo River dried up in 2016. In some places along the river, they lost 98 percent of their population. Photo: Jorge Adorno / Reuters

Wildlife dying en masse as South American river runs dry

In this 12 January 2016 photo, Abraham Fulguera shows his fisherman's credential, in the dried up Lake Poopo, on the outskirts of Untavi, Bolivia. 'I am the president of the September 10 Fishing Cooperative. We used to be 30 fishermen and there used to be ten or more fishing cooperatives in Lake Poopo. Now we work as construction laborers. Others have left to look for jobs. I hope we do not become a ghost town. We have faith that the lake will come back.' Fulguera said. Photo: Juan Karita / AP Photo

In this 12 January 2016 photo, Abraham Fulguera shows his fisherman's credential, in the dried up Lake Poopo, on the outskirts of Untavi, Bolivia. “I am the president of the September 10 Fishing Cooperative. We used to be 30 fishermen and there used to be ten or more fishing cooperatives in Lake Poopo. Now we work as construction laborers. Others have left to look for jobs. I hope we do not become a ghost town. We have faith that the lake will come back.” Fulguera said. Photo: Juan Karita / AP Photo

Second largest lake in Bolivia dries up – ‘There’s no future here’

Gold mining activity led to more forest clearing in Peru in the first few months of 2016. Data from Planet Labs, SERNANP. Photo: MAAP

Since November 2015, a major gold mining camp has been established within Tambopata National Reserve's buffer zone in Peru. Data from WorldView-2 de Digital Globe (NextView). Photo: MAAP

Satellite views of the Bahuaja Sonene National Park (USD35), located between the regions of Madre de Dios and Puno in Peru, showing deforestation due to illegal gold mining in July 2016 (right). Photo: Digital Globe

The before-and-after is stark in the Madre de Dios region of the Amazon rainforest in Peru: forest on the left-hand side of this image has been stripped by illegal gold mining. Photo: Miguel Bellido

22 April 2016 (mongabay.com) – The quest for gold has been stripping rainforest from around rivers in the Amazon Basin, with not even protected areas immune from mining. The situation has gotten so out of hand that the Peruvian government launched an intervention in January, destroying a slew of mining equipment and more than a thousand gallons of fuel in the southern part of the country in effort to stamp out production. But recent satellite and aerial data show this hasn’t had the intended effect, with a big recent uptick in mining-related deforestation along the Upper Malinowski River inside Tambopata National Reserve.

Gold mining ramps up, pushes deeper into Peruvian Amazon rainforest, Illegal gold mining threatens tropical forest in Peruvian Amazon, Peru: Mercury poisoning epidemic sweeps tribe

A dead alligator is a victim of Belo Monte dam construction. Amazon rainforest is burned by Norte Energia, a company outsourced by Belo Monte to clear the area that will become a lake after the Belo Monte dam is built. Monkeys, sloths, and numerous other species are slaughtered as the rainforest is cleared. Photo: Márcio Isensee e Sá

A dead alligator is a victim of Belo Monte dam construction. Amazon rainforest is burned by Norte Energia, a company outsourced by Belo Monte to clear the area that will become a lake after the Belo Monte dam is built. Monkeys, sloths, and numerous other species are slaughtered as the rainforest is cleared. Photo: Márcio Isensee e Sá

Wildlife slaughtered as Amazon rainforest burns for Belo Monte dam construction – Burning timber fuels Brazil’s illegal lumber market

Three Batek women on their way to gather forest herbs pass by signs forbidding entry to land clear-cut two years ago to create an oil palm plantation. Photo: James Whitlow Delano

Three Batek women on their way to gather forest herbs pass by signs forbidding entry to land clear-cut two years ago to create an oil palm plantation. Photo: James Whitlow Delano

Photo gallery: Endangered Batek tribe faces the loss of their last parcel of Malaysia rainforest

Workers scoop oil out a stream near Chiriaco, in northern Peru, where crude spilled from a pipeline in late January 2016. Photo: Barbara Fraser

Workers scoop oil out of a stream near Chiriaco, in northern Peru, where crude spilled from a pipeline in late January 2016. Photo: Barbara Fraser

Another Amazon oil spill puts Peruvian communities at risk – ‘We don’t drink river water any more. It gives us diarrhea and stomachaches’

A worker carries spray bottles of gel fuel to help the burning, as he walks past pyres of ivory that were set on fire in Nairobi National Park, Kenya Saturday, 30 April 2016. Kenya's president Saturday set fire to 105 tons of elephant ivory and more than 1 ton of rhino horn, believed to be the largest stockpile ever destroyed, in a dramatic statement against the trade in ivory and products from endangered species. Photo: Ben Curtis / AP Photo

Kenya’s president sets fire to 105 tons of elephant ivory and more than 1 ton of rhino horn, believed to be the largest stockpile ever destroyed, in a dramatic statement by this East African country against the trade in ivory and products from endangered species. Photo: Ben Curtis / AP Photo

Kenya burns 105 tons of elephant ivory to protest poaching, largest stockpile ever burned – ‘Kenya is making a statement that for us ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants’

Aerial view of the body of a rare Kordofan giraffe in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, three of which were killed only for their tails. Photo: David Hamlin / National Geographic

Aerial view of the body of a rare Kordofan giraffe in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, three of which were killed only for their tails. Photo: David Hamlin / National Geographic

Poachers are wiping out giraffes in central Africa just for their tails, Giraffes suffer ‘silent extinction’ in Africa – ‘Many species are slipping away before we can even describe them’

Spiders of Chernobyl weaving deformed webs. Thirty years after the worst nuclear radiation catastrophe in history, which released 100 times the combined amount of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, two scientists were allowed total access to the area surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Video: Radioactive spiders of Chernobyl weave deformed webs

Hundreds of Burundian refugees aboard the 'MV Liemba' making the 3-hour journey down Lake Tanganyika to Kigoma, from where they were transferred to Nyaragusu refugee camp. More than 122,000 Burundian refugees have arrived in Tanzania since the beginning of 2015 fleeing political violence in Burundi. Only able to carry 600 people at a time, the 100-year-old ship travelled day and night between Kagunga and Kigoma. Photo: UNHCR

Hundreds of Burundian refugees aboard the MV Liemba making the 3-hour journey down Lake Tanganyika to Kigoma, from where they were transferred to Nyaragusu refugee camp. More than 122,000 Burundian refugees have arrived in Tanzania since the beginning of 2015 fleeing political violence in Burundi. Only able to carry 600 people at a time, the 100-year-old ship travelled day and night between Kagunga and Kigoma. Photo: UNHCR

‘Unprecedented’ 65 million people displaced by war and persecution in 2015 – ‘With anti-refugee rhetoric so loud, it is sometimes difficult to hear the voices of welcome. But these do exist, all around the world.’

Blackout in the Venezuela capital's El Calvario neighbourhood, where people took to the streets in anger over energy rationing. The power shortages are adding to existing concerns around inflation, food shortages and crime. Photo: Fernando Llano / AP

Blackout in the Venezuela capital's El Calvario neighbourhood, where people took to the streets in anger over energy rationing. The power shortages add to existing concerns around inflation, food shortages, and crime. Photo: Fernando Llano / AP

Venezuelans ransack stores as hunger stalks crumbling nation – ‘We’re not at war and we’re living worse than in a war situation’

Aerial view of the Batagaika Crater in Siberia. The ominous crater is a thermokarst so large that it's called a 'megaslump'. It looms a mile long and reaches depths of nearly 400 feet. It appeared without warning some 25 years ago. According to geological surveys, it's been growing at an annual rate of more than 60 feet. Photo: Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North / Alexander Gabyshev

Aerial view of the Batagaika Crater in Siberia. The ominous crater is a thermokarst so large that it's called a 'megaslump'. It looms a mile long and reaches depths of nearly 400 feet. It appeared without warning some 25 years ago. According to geological surveys, it's been growing at an annual rate of more than 60 feet. Photo: Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North / Alexander Gabyshev

Global warming opens ‘Gateway to the Underworld’ in Siberia

Aerial view of bleached coral in the Great Barrier Reef. This aerial survey in March 2016 found 95 per cent bleached coral off Cape Grenville in north Queensland. Photo: ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies

Aerial view of bleached coral in the Great Barrier Reef. This aerial survey in March 2016 found 95 per cent bleached coral off Cape Grenville in north Queensland. Photo: ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies

Great Barrier Reef coral bleaching at 95 per cent in northern section, aerial survey reveals – ‘This will change the Great Barrier Reef forever’, Coral crisis: Great Barrier Reef bleaching is ‘the worst we’ve ever seen’

Staghorn corals at Carysfort Reef in 1976 (above) and 2016 (below). The extensive thickets of staghorn corals are gone today replaced by a structureless bottom littered with the decaying skeletons of staghorn coral. Photo: Chris Langdon, Ph.D.

Staghorn corals at Carysfort Reef in 1976 (above) and 2016 (below). The extensive thickets of staghorn corals are gone today, replaced by a structureless bottom littered with the decaying skeletons of staghorn coral. Photo: Chris Langdon, Ph.D.

New study finds ocean acidification destroying coral reefs in the Florida Keys – ‘We don’t have as much time as we previously thought. The reefs are beginning to dissolve away.’

Coral on reefs around Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef after the worst mass bleaching event in recorded history, in 2016. Photo: Justin Marshall / University of Queensland

Coral on reefs around Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef after the worst mass bleaching event in recorded history, in 2016. Photo: Justin Marshall / University of Queensland

Great Barrier Reef suffers complete ecosystem collapse after record ocean heat wave – Bleaching event is ‘much more extreme than we’ve measured before’

Bleached Coral off Lizard Island in May 2016. Photo: The Ocean Agency

Bleached coral off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef,  in May 2016. Photo: The Ocean Agency

Video: Diving in the stench of millions of rotting animals at the bleached Great Barrier Reef

Thousands of dead mussels washed ashore near United Riverhead Oil Terminal on Long Island Sound near Jamesport, New York, on 24 August 2016. It is likely that high water temperatures due to the prolonged hot temperatures in Summer 2016 is the cause. Photo: Grant Parpan

Thousands of dead mussels washed ashore near United Riverhead Oil Terminal on Long Island Sound near Jamesport, New York, on 24 August 2016. It is likely that high water temperature due to the prolonged hot temperatures in Summer 2016 is the cause. Photo: Grant Parpan

Dead mussels ‘as far as the eye can see’ on Long Island Sound beach – ‘They’ve been hit with these consecutive heat waves that are just too hot for them’

Healthy green coloured Lake Baikal sponge sponge has been replaced by ailing brown-tinted growths, or even swathes of pink sponge. Photo: Sergey Belikov / Science First Hands

Healthy green coloured Lake Baikal sponge sponge has been replaced by ailing brown-tinted growths, or even swathes of pink sponge. Photo: Sergey Belikov / Science First Hands

Lake Baikal sponge has died out completely in several areas

The image shows NASA MODIS-Aqua satellite data processed using a global algorithm developed by Prof. Shanmugam of IIT Madras. Red, green, and blue colour gradients depict very high, intermediate, and very low algal bloom density respectively. Photo: Gokul and Shanmugam, 2016 / JGR

NASA MODIS-Aqua satellite image processed using a global algorithm developed by Prof. Shanmugam of IIT Madras. Red, green, and blue colour gradients depict very high, intermediate, and very low algal bloom density, respectively. Photo: Gokul and Shanmugam, 2016 / JGR

Ocean slime spreading quickly across the Earth – ‘Here the change is just massive – this one species is just taking over.

A dead deer snagged on a razorwire fence, designed to stop migrants crossing into Europe, in Radenci in Slovenia. The death toll of animals killed by the fence is mounting, amid warnings that bears, lynx, and wolves could become locally extinct if the barrier is completed and consolidated. Photo: Martin Lindic

A dead deer snagged on a razorwire fence, designed to stop migrants crossing into Europe, in Radenci in Slovenia. The death toll of animals killed by the fence is mounting, amid warnings that bears, lynx, and wolves could become locally extinct if the barrier is completed and consolidated. Photo: Martin Lindic

Balkan wildlife faces extinction threat from border fence to control migrants, Aimed at refugees, fences are threatening European wildlife – ‘The big problem is that from Mongolia to the United States to Europe, building fences and walls – that’s a trend’

A dock worker uses a mallet to dislodge frozen tuna aboard a Chinese cargo vessel docked at the city of General Santos in the Philippines. The cargo vessel spends up to two months at sea with a fleet of a dozen tuna boats working to fill its freezer. Photo: Adam Dean / National Geographic

A dock worker uses a mallet to dislodge frozen tuna aboard a Chinese cargo vessel docked at the city of General Santos in the Philippines. The cargo vessel spends up to two months at sea with a fleet of a dozen tuna boats working to fill its freezer. Photo: Adam Dean / National Geographic

One of the world’s biggest fisheries is on the verge of collapse – ‘It’s just chance, whether or not we can feed our families now’

The water of the Daldykan River in Siberia runs red with pollution from the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant, 7 September 2016. Photo: Vkontakte / Siberian Times

The water of the Daldykan River in Siberia runs red with pollution from the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant, 7 September 2016. Photo: Vkontakte / Siberian Times

Siberia river turns ‘puce from pollution’ – Local nickel plant blamed for discharge

Firefighters battle a fire in the Calais refugee camp known as 'the Jungle', 26 October 2016. Photo: Francois Nascimbeni / AFP / Getty Images

“Deeply troubled” that while fires burned in parts of the Calais refugee and migrant camp that became known as “the Jungle”, many children were forced to sleep out in the cold, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) underscored that authorities on the ground must guarantee their protection.

As fires burn through Calais ‘Jungle’, UNICEF urges protection of children remaining in the camp

A boy pauses on his bike as he passes an oil field that was set on fire by retreating ISIS fighters ahead of the Mosul offensive, on 21 October 2016 in Qayyarah, Iraq. Photo: Carl Court / Getty Images

A boy pauses on his bike as he passes an oil field that was set on fire by retreating ISIS fighters ahead of the Mosul offensive, on 21 October 2016 in Qayyarah, Iraq. Photo: Carl Court / Getty Images

In Iraq, the environment itself has once again become a weapon of war

On 10 October 2016 in Jérémie, Haiti, a toddler rests near collapsed homes on top of a hill. One week after Hurricane Matthew, as schools re-open across the country, more than 100,000 children will be missing out on learning after their schools were either damaged or converted into shelters. Photo: UNICEF

On 10 October 2016 in Jérémie, Haiti, a toddler rests near collapsed homes on top of a hill. One week after Hurricane Matthew, as schools re-open across the country, more than 100,000 children missed out on learning after their schools were either damaged or converted into shelters. Photo: UNICEF

Nearly a quarter of the world’s children live in conflict or disaster-stricken countries, Hurricane Matthew leaves ‘catastrophic’ devastation in Caribbean – U.N. calls it the largest humanitarian event in Haiti since 2010 quake, New images show scale of Haiti destruction from Hurricane Matthew

 

In below-freezing weather on 20 November 2016, law enforcement deployed tear gas, water cannons, percussion grenades, and rubber bullets against hundreds protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. News reports confirm more than 300 people have been injured. Many were knocked to the ground after being hit in the head by rubber bullets. One woman may lose her arm. Photo: Sacred Stone Camp

In below-freezing weather on 20 November 2016, law enforcement deployed tear gas, water cannons, percussion grenades, and rubber bullets against hundreds of people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. News reports confirmed more than 300 were injured. Many were knocked to the ground after being hit in the head by rubber bullets. One woman’s arm was nearly torn off. Photo: Sacred Stone Camp

Seattle doctor at Standing Rock: ‘People had sheets of ice hanging off them’ – Protester’s arm nearly torn off

Inside President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal antidrug campaign in the Philippines, the basketball court at the Quezon City Jail has become a sleeping area. Photo: Daniel Berehulak / The New York Times

Inside President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal antidrug campaign in the Philippines, the basketball court at the Quezon City Jail became a sleeping area. Photo: Daniel Berehulak / The New York Times

‘They are slaughtering us like animals’ – Inside President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal antidrug campaign in the Philippines

A blueberry hermit crab (coenobita purpureus) on Okinawa, using the top of a glass bottle as its shell. Photo: Shawn Miller

A blueberry hermit crab (coenobita purpureus) on Okinawa, using the top of a glass bottle as its shell. Photo: Shawn Miller

Photo gallery: Hermit crabs who live in trash

A sperm whale lies dead after becoming stranded on a beach between Old Hunstanton and Holme on 5 February 2016 in Hunstanton, England. The whale is the 29th to have died after beaching in Europe in the past two weeks. Photo: Ben Pruchnie / Getty Images

A sperm whale lies dead after becoming stranded on a beach between Old Hunstanton and Holme on 5 February 2016 in Hunstanton, England. The whale was the 29th to have died after beaching in Europe in two weeks. A post-mortem of the creatures, found ashore near the town of Toenning in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, showed their stomachs were full of plastic. This plastic included a 13-metre-long (43-foot-long) fisherman’s net and a 70-centimetre (28-inch) piece of plastic from a car. Photo: Ben Pruchnie / Getty Images

Researchers find plastic, nets in stomachs of dead sperm whales

Larval Damselfish from the Baltic Sea that has ingested microplastic particles. Photo: Oona Lönnstedt

A larval Damselfish from the Baltic Sea, after ingesting microplastic particles. In a study published in Science, researchers from Uppsala University found that larval fish exposed to microplastic particles during development display changed behaviors and stunted growth which lead to greatly increased mortality rates. Photo: Oona Lönnstedt

Microplastic particles threaten fish larvae – ‘This is the first time an animal has been found to preferentially feed on plastic particles and is cause for concern’

Aena, 12, in her village (Muara Angke) by Jakarta, 3 October 2016. The shoreline is smothered by plastic filth. This is what your backyard can look like if you're one of the 3.5 billion humans who don't receive trash pick-up services. Photo: bkkapologist / Instagram

Aena, 12, in her village (Muara Angke) by Jakarta, on 3 October 2016. The shoreline is smothered by plastic waste. This is what your backyard can look like if you're one of the 3.5 billion humans who don't receive trash pick-up services. Photo: bkkapologist / Instagram

Oceans poisoned by plastic –‘No matter where you go, the sea is covered in plastic’

Flood waters lap at the top of the Cherry Street bridge in Shell Rock, Iowa, on Friday, 23 September 2016. Photo: Brian Powers / Des Moines Register

Flood waters lap at the top of the Cherry Street bridge in Shell Rock, Iowa, on 23 September 2016. Photo: Brian Powers / Des Moines Register

Iowa expects more rain, braces for record flooding

'Climate Chronograph', proposed by Azimuth Land Craft members Erik Jensen and Rebecca Sunter, is a finalist for the National Park Service (NPS) competition, 'Memorials for the Future'. 'Climate Chronograph' is a living observatory wherein rising seas incrementally flood cherry trees to author bare-branched delineations of shorelines past. Continually rewritten by the object of contemplation itself, the memorial is a record of the challenges before us, a public witness to our vulnerability and response. Graphic: Azimuth Land Craft / National Park Service

Climate Chronograph, proposed by Azimuth Land Craft members Erik Jensen and Rebecca Sunter, is a finalist for the National Park Service (NPS) competition, 'Memorials for the Future'. Climate Chronograph is a living observatory wherein rising seas incrementally flood cherry trees to author bare-branched delineations of shorelines past. Continually rewritten by the object of contemplation itself, the memorial is a record of the challenges before us, a public witness to our vulnerability and response. Graphic: Azimuth Land Craft / National Park Service

Designers propose memorial to shorelines past in Washington, D.C.

Disappearing homes, 17 September 2016: Due to sea-level rise, many islands in the Ganges Delta region of West Bengal, India, are facing fast erosion. The island of Mousuni is one such island, which is sinking with each passing tide. Homes and lands are sinking at a steady rate, and people are staring at a bleak future, in which the probability of them becoming climate refugees looms large. Photo: Arka Dutta / National Geographic Your Shot

Due to sea-level rise, many islands in the Ganges Delta region of West Bengal, India, are facing fast erosion. The island of Mousuni is one such island, which is sinking with each passing tide. Homes and lands are sinking at a steady rate, and people are staring at a bleak future, in which the probability of them becoming climate refugees looms large. Photo: Arka Dutta / National Geographic Your Shot

Photo gallery: National Geographic asked photographers to show the impact of climate change, here’s what they shot

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