We like to think of climate change as a future event, something that hasn’t quite hit yet, that we can still stop when we decide to set our minds to it. This isn’t the case.
The planet’s already experiencing irreversible effects of climate change. While some of the hardest-impacted places are poor and remote — like the Pacific Islands swallowed by the sea, or the villages of Darfur torn by climate-influenced conflicts — others are much more prominent to us Westerners. Natural wonders, major cities, and cultural icons are all at risk. Here are just three examples, permanently transformed by climate change.