Tarawa atoll, Kiribati, is seen in an aerial view. Fearing that climate change could wipe out their entire Pacific archipelago, the leaders of Kiribati are considering an unusual backup plan: moving the populace to Fiji.
This melt water lake was created by warm summer temperatures on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Meltwater lubricates the glacier bed and and makes the ice flow faster into the sea. Global warming has caused melting to occur dozens of miles further inland than 20 years ago.
Nathalie Bardin / AFP / Getty Images
A farm worker harvesting rooibos tea at the Elandsberg Eco Tourism fields in Clanwilliam, South Africa on Feb. 13, 2012. Farmers fear that climate change could destroy the delicate eco-system that their crops depend on.
Photograph by Stephen Dupont for TIME
"Where has all the color gone?" Parts of the Great Barrier Reef have undergone an aesthetic decline, reflecting the dangers from global warming that the vast, fragile ecosystem faces
Susan Walsh / AP
Jim Hansen, a leading researcher on global warming, gives a briefing on global warming on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Douglas C. Pizac / AP
Utah Governor Jon Huntsman looks up after signing a document to fight global warming
John Quigley / Spectral Q / AP
Students and Washington residents concerned about global warming gather in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, April 14, 2007, to urge Congress to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050.
Dar Yasin / AP
China's chief climate change official, Xie Zhenhua, right, shakes hands with Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh after signing an agreement during a joint workshop on national action plan on climate change in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009
American smokestacks: Not helping the global-warming situation
HERMANN J. KNIPPERTZ/AP
A protester holds a burned doll outside the U.N. conference on global warming
Evan Hurd / Getty
Venter has come to San Diego to develop synthetic tools to attack disease and global warming.
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Protesters rally outside the Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Climate Change venue in Durban, South Africa, on Nov. 28, 2011
Gerardo Garcia / Reuters
Canadian protesters at the venue of climate-change talks in Cancun on Dec. 10, 2010
Saeed Khan / AFP
United Nations climate change chief Yvo de Boer
Anticapitalist and climate-change activists converge on the Bank of England in London
Mustafa Quraishi / AP
Hillary Clinton speaks about climate change in New Delhi alongside Indian Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh
Hakan Ludwigson for TIME
NEEM researchers measure climate change using air captured in ancient ice.
Anders Debel Hansen / EPA
Demonstrators take part in the protest against climate change in the center of Copenhagen.
Henning Bagger / Scanpix / Reuters
Secretary of State Clinton addresses the media during the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen.
Andy Wong / POOL / EPA
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a climate-change conference in Beijing on May 27, 2009
Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty
A delegate at the UN Climate Change Conference carries his child as he watches a demonstration at the venue of the meeting on Bali.
Henning Bagger / Scanpix / Reuters
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore addresses the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference on Dec. 15, 2009
Bob Strong / Reuters
President Obama addresses the session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen
Olivier Hoslet / EPA
President Barroso in talks about combating climate change, improving EU's energy security and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 2020.
Janek Skarzynski / AFP / Getty
Former Vice President Al Gore speaks at the U.N. climate-change convention in Poznan, Poland
ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES
U.S. President George W. Bush remarks on climate change and clean air during his visit to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in February 2002
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2012: Conference flags are displayed ahead of the Doha Climate Change Conference, in Doha, Qatar.
Osama Faisal, File / AP Photo
In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2012 file photo, conference flags are displayed ahead of the Doha Climate Change Conference, in Doha, Qatar.
Fadi Al-Assaad / Reuters
Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and 18th Conference of the Parties President Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah and Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, attend the opening session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha Nov. 26, 2012.
David Mercado / Reuters
Bolivian President Evo Morales attends the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth session in Tiquipaya, on the outskirts of Cochabamba, on April 20, 2010
Toru Yamanaka / AFP / Getty
Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), gestures as he answers questions during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on Feb. 13, 2009
Attila Kisbenedek / AFP / Getty
A delegation member from Gambia prepares for a meeting during the 12-day summit on climate change in Copenhagen
SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty
Senator Lindsey Graham, center, speaks to the media following a meeting with CEOs about climate change at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on December 3, 2009.
J. Pat Carter / AP
Florida Governor Charlie Crist at ServetoPrserve, a Florida Summit on Global Climate Change, Miami, Florida, July 12, 2007
Reuters / Christian Charisius
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the media at a news conference during the United Nations Climate Change Conference
Susan Walsh / AP
Al Gore testifies on Capitol Hill before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on global climate change
JEWEL SAMAD / AFP / Getty Images
Environmental activists and supporters shout slogans during a demonstration at the venue of the UN Climate Change Conference 2007 in Nusa Dua on Bali island, Dec. 14.
Alexandra Fleurantin / Greenpeace France
Members of the Vignerons Independants wine growers associated clinked their bottles to express concerns over the consequences of inaction on climate change.
Supri / Reuters
Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore speaks at the side event of the UN Climate Change Conference 2007 in Nusa Dua on Bali island, December 13, 2007.
Sang Tan / AP
Activists camp in tents in southeast London on Aug. 26, 2009, as part of a weeklong protest on climate change
Greg Wood / AFP / Getty Images
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd speaks to the media during a joint press conference with former U.S. Vice President and climate-change campaigner Al Gore (unseen) in Sydney
EPA / Corbis
Some climate experts say that without breakthrough technologies and as yet unimagined solutions, we cannot stem the progress of climate change.
(l. to r.): Don Emmert / AFP / Getty; AP
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (left) speaks at the United Nations during a High Level event on Climate Change.
Brian L. Frank / Redux
The Salton Sea area of the Imperial Valley in California, was once a thriving tourist destination, but deteriorated as the sea, which was created by the Colorado River, died from pollution and dried out from the effects of global warming.
JEFF BARNARD / AP
Ram Oren, an associate professor of ecology at Duke University, stands atop an observation tower overlooking the Duke Forest in Durham, N.C., Sept. 29, 2008, where he oversees a long-standing experiment measuring how elevated levels of carbon dioxide expected under global warming will affect forests
Chip Somodevilla / Getty
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) testifies before the House Science and Technology Committee about her commitment to fighting global climate change in Washington, D.C., February 8, 2007.