In pictures:How the world us changing

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by BBC

While the effect of human activity on the global climate
is hotly debated, physical signs of environmental
change are all around us.

Some scientists say an increase in the rate of melting of
the world's glaciers is evidence of global warming.

Argentina's Upsala Glacier was once the biggest
in South America, but it is now disappearing at
a rate of 200 metres per year.

Other scientists say its reduction is due to
complicated shifts in glacial dynamics and local geology.

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Glacial change
American photographer Gary Braasch has been
documenting images of environmental change since 1999.

The image on the left is from an 1859 etching
of the Rhone glacier in Valais, Switzerland,
and shows ice filling the valley.

In 2001, the glacier had shrunk by some 2.5km,
and its 'snout' had shifted about 450 metres higher up.
Image: Gary Braasch ©

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Rising tides
Some scientists predict that a warmer
climate will trigger more violent storms,
which will cause increased rates of coastal erosion.

This is a section of shoreline at Cape Hatteras in North
Carolina in the USA, pictured in 1999 and 2004.

Rising sea levels are also expected
to speed up coastal erosion.
Image: Gary Braasch ©

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Vanishing islands
Other parts of the world could
face even more drastic change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), a consortium of
several thousand independent scientists,
predicts that sea levels could rise by
between 9 and 88cm in the next century.

This would threaten low-lying islands
such as Tuvalu in the Pacific.
These images, taken on the same day this year,
show the effects of a higher than usual tide.
Image: Gary Braasch ©

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No snow
As the climate warms up, mountainous
regions may experience lower levels of snowfall.

This image shows Mount Hood in Oregon at
the same time in late summer in 1985 and 2002.
Image: Gary Braasch ©

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More pests
Tree-eating wood beetles are likely to
benefit from a warmer climate and reproduce
in ever-increasing numbers.

These images show damage to White Spruce
trees in Alaska caused by the pests.

Image: Gary Braasch ©

See more of Gary Braasch's images here:
World View Of Global Warming

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