• For many people in the Pacific, “climate change” are not just words, it is a reality. With sea level rise, super cyclones, weather pattern changes, coastal erosion, permafrost thawing, coral bleaching, deforestation, animal migration pattern changes, disrupted hunting and fishing, the sustainable ways of life for many areas of the Pacific, the largest region on our planet, are in great danger.

    The consequences of climate emergency in the Arctic regions of Alaska and Russia are no different to those in the South Pacific. Everyone is affected by it.

    When I first started working on Warm Waters in 2013, I intended to show how climate change is affecting Papua New Guinea. Slowly, the massive evidence of climate change’s effects in the Pacific overwhelmed me. The project expanded.

  • Covering 18 territories of the region*, Warm Waters came to stretch from the northernmost tip of the United States in Point Barrow, Alaska, to the southernmost islands in the Pacific, Niue and New Zealand’s Tokelau.

    Oceania and the Arctic are not very easy to operate within. The many distant tiny islands scattered across a vast body of water coupled with remote villages hidden in the wilderness make access extremely difficult. Most people have never even heard of these places. Yet, this is where people are undergoing first-hand the harsh impact of a changing climate.

    Putting together the photographs of the Pacific I’ve gathered across eight years, the purpose of this project is to open a window into this part of the world. Some of these places have already changed a lot since I first took these pictures. Some will never recover and may be lost entirely.

  • Warm Waters documents the devastation of three super cyclones in the Pacific that hit Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Fiji, Northern Mariana Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia in 2015-2016. It also shows how coastal erosion and permafrost melting collapses indigenous towns and villages in Alaska and the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula. The project reveals inundated areas of Tuvalu and Kiribati during high tides. The deforestation and illegal logging in Papua New Guinea. Drought in Timor-Leste in 2019. And much more…

    The project also shows the resilience of people. Their strength and readiness to adapt and overcome; their joy as life continues for another day.

     

  • Many of us believe that climate change is caused not only by natural events but is also by increased human activity.  Humans overload and abuse nature, misbalancing the system. However, humanity is not destroying the planet; our planet cannot be destroyed. Humanity is destroying itself. The changes in climate are the Earth’s natural mechanisms to protect it balance, to protect itself from disharmony.

    Warm Waters explores climate change as a process of action and reaction. It reminds people that the Earth is indestructible, resilient, but that it responds in measure to how we treat it.

    *Full list of locations covered in Warm Waters: Alaska (USA), Kamchatka (Russia), Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tokelau (New Zealand), Tuvalu, Timor-Leste, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam (USA), Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Niue and Fiji. The images were taken between 2013- 2019.

Tebunginako Village, Abaiang Atoll, Kiribati, 2016

Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, 2016

Grotto Island, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, 2016

Point Barrow, Alaska, USA, 2016

Teafua Tanu, Fakaofo Atoll, Tokelau (New Zealand), 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2014

Tuvalu, 2015

Majuro International Airport, Marshall Islands, 2016.

Fakaofo Atoll, Tokelau (New Zealand), 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2014

Niue, 2016

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Funafuti, Tuvalu, 2015

Tokelau (New Zealand), Fakaofo Atoll, 2016

Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, 2016

Moata’a Mangrove Reserve, Upolu Island, Samoa, 2016

Newtok Village, Alaska, 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2014

Newtok Village, Alaska, 2016

Oktyabrsky Settlement, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Fale Village, Fakaofo Atoll, Tokelau (New Zealand), 2016

Jernok Village, Majuro, Marshall Islands, 2014

Abaiang Atoll, Kiribati, 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2014

Honiara, Solomon Islands, 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2014

Point Barrow, Alaska, USA, 2016

Kivalina village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Lord Howe Settlement, Honiara, Solomon Islands, 2016

Kivalina village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Shishmaref Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Newtok Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Viti Levu Island, Fiji, 2016

Fale Village, Fakaofo, Tokelau (New Zealand), 2016

Nikolskoye, Commander Islands, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Shishmaref Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Funafuti, Tuvalu, 2015

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2014

Fale Village, Fakaofo, Tokelau (New Zealand), 2016

Betio Town, South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

Tuvalu, 2015

Oktyabrsky Settlement, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Utqiagvik (former Barrow), Alaska, USA, 2016

New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, 2013

Tebunginako Village, Abaiang Atoll, Kiribati, 2014

Guam, 2015

Niue, 2016

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, USA, 2016

Alaska, USA, 2016

Shishmaref Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Ust-Kamchatsk, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Koror, Palau, 2015

Shishmaref Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA, 2016

Mertarvik, Alaska, USA, 2016

Honiara, Solomon Islands, 2016

Mertarvik, Alaska, USA, 2016

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, 2016

Kivalina Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Shishmaref Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Kivalina Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Oktyabrsky Settlement, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Oktyabrsky Settlement, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Kivalina Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Shishmaref Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Utqiagvik (former Barrow), Alaska, USA, 2016

Commander Islands, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Nikolskoye, Commander Islands, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Nikolskoye, Commander Islands, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

East Sepik, Papua New Guinea, 2014

Fakaofo Atoll, Tokelau (New Zealand), 2016

Newtok Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

North Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

Alaska, USA, 2016

Manwara village, East Sepik, Papua New Guinea, 2014

Manwara village, East Sepik, Papua New Guinea, 2014

East Sepik, Papua New Guinea, 2014

Turubu Bay, East Sepik, Papua New Guinea, 2014

East Sepik, Papua New Guinea, 2014

Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, 2016

Utqiagvik (former Barrow), Alaska, USA, 2016

Nikolskoye, Commander Islands, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2014

Oktyabrsky Settlement, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Oktyabrsky Settlement, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Oktyabrsky Settlement, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Guam, USA, 2016

Tebunginako Village, Abaiang Atoll, Kiribati, 2014

Fale Village, Fakaofo, Tokelau (New Zealand), 2016

Fale Village, Fakaofo, Tokelau (New Zealand), 2016

Jernok Village, Majuro, Marshall Islands, 2014

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

Betio Town, South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

Manus Province, Papua New Guinea, 2014

Tokelau (New Zealand), 2016

Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, 2015

Shishmaref Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Kivalina Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Viti Levu Island, Fiji, 2016

Efate Island, Vanuatu, 2015

Tanna Island, Vanuatu, 2015

Liquica, Timor-Leste, 2019

Liquica, Timor-Leste, 2019

Port Vila, Vanuatu, 2015

Betio Town, South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

Efate Island, Vanuatu, 2015

Taveuni Island, Fiji, 2016

Efate Island, Vanuatu, 2015

Viti Levu Island, Fiji, 2016

Jernok Village, Majuro, Marshall Islands, 2014

Nui Atoll, Tuvalu, 2015

Ulithy Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia, 2015

Betio Town, South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

Yap Island, Federated States of Micronesia, 2015

Efate Island, Vanuatu, 2015

Niu Birao Village, Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands, 2016

Viti Levu Island, Fiji, 2016

Vanuatu, 2015

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2014

Nui Atoll, Tuvalu, 2015

Lord Howe Settlement, Honiara, Solomon Islands, 2016

Nui Atoll, Tuvalu, 2015

Newtok Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Lord Howe Settlement, Honiara, Solomon Islands, 2016

Jernok Village, Majuro, Marshall Islands, 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2014

Shishmaref Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Hanuabada, Papua New Guinea, 2013

Abaiang Atoll, Kiribati, 2014

Tebunginako Village, Abaiang Atoll, Kiribati, 2014

Nauru, 2016

Location Block, Nauru, 2014

Oktyabrsky Settlement, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Utqiagvik (former Barrow), Alaska, USA, 2016

Utqiagvik (former Barrow), Alaska, USA, 2016

near Utqiagvik (former Barrow), Alaska, USA, 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

Tuvalu, 2015

Oktyabrsky Settlement, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

Newtok Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Tebunginako Village, Abaiang Atoll, Kiribati, 2014

Tebunginako Village, Abaiang Atoll, Kiribati, 2014

Shishmaref Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

Utqiagvik (former Barrow), Alaska, USA, 2016

Utqiagvik (former Barrow), Alaska, USA, 2016

Kivalina Village, Alaska, USA, 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

Kotzebue, Alaska, USA, 2016

Oktyabrsky Settlement, Kamchatka, Russia, 2016

New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, 2013

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

South Tarawa, Kiribati, 2016

Mbunai Village, Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, 2014

Ejit Island, Marshall Islands, 2016

49th Base, Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, 2016

Honiara, Solomon Islands, 2016

Lord Howe Settlement, Honiara, Solomon Islands, 2016

Utqiagvik (former Barrow), Alaska, USA, 2016

The World’s First Climate Refugees is an episode of Seekers Stories on Vlad Sokhin’s photo project “Warm Waters” about Climate Change in the Pacific, produced by Discovery.

© 2020 Vlad Sokhin. All rights reserved.
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