Climate Impacts

Images of climate impacts attract attention and produce negative emotional responses from people: they show the effects of a changing climate, and the damage this can cause.

Previous research has suggested, though, that they can also make people feel powerless to act. The images of climate impacts we tested in our research confirmed that people have strong negative emotions towards them, but also points to ways of using climate impacts that do not produce feelings of hopelessness.

We also tested images which were more or less ‘distant’ for participants – geographically and psychologically. We found that images showing localised climate impacts are a powerful way of connecting with people. But there is a balance to be struck (as in verbal and written communication) between localising climate change, and trivialising the issue. When images of climate impacts show an individual person or group of people, with identifiable emotions, they are likely to be most powerful.

Climate Impacts images

Read the Climate Visuals research report

Image usage

The images on this site fall into two categories: Creative Commons (CC) images and copyrighted (©) images.

Creative Commons images are free to use and share under the specific terms of each image, which can be found by the original image on the respective site we link to.

Copyrighted images are there to help inform you in making the best decision when using climate change images. Please contact the photographer or copyright holder to license these images.