The debate over the legitimacy of climate change and its effect on the planet is one that has been raging for years, but many people point to tangible proof — and scientific evidence — in all corners of the globe to show how warming temperatures have forced widespread instances of drought and consequent famine.
People have to look no further than in parts of Africa, Asia, Australia, the Arctic as well as the Americas, including the unlikely location of the U.S. state of California.
Below is a glimpse in pictures of the environmental issues that a handful of countries are grappling with as 2016 shapes up to be the hottest year on record, according to a prediction from NASA.
An El Niño climate pattern in various African countries has resulted in extreme drought conditions that have cause a food crisis that could leave more than 50 million people hungry and in a perpetual state of famine, the United Nations has said.
From Kenya in the country's west to Ethiopia in the north to South Sudan in the east to South Africa, parts of literally every corner of the continent have been suffering from a deadly combination of drought and famine for years now.
The combination of high ocean temperatures in the Amazon, an extremely dry rainy season and the largest moisture deficit in nearly two decades has left the area "primed to have record fire activity" because of the El Niño and La Niña weather patterns, the science journal Nature reported late last month. If the prediction comes to fruition, it would be the region's third extreme drought in the past 11 years with the Amazon rainforest being its driest at the start of a dry season since 2002.
Arctic sea ice levels have been on the decline for some time now, with this summer culminating in a 40 percent decline compared to levels from the 1970s and 1980s, according to NASA. That's 13.4 percent less Arctic sea ice than each subsequent decade since then. The phenomenon is directly related to climate change and global surface temperatures.
An ongoing drought in Australia is adversely affecting the country's farmers, whose livestock are dying off at record rates because of the dry conditions. The drought conditions there have reportedly gripped parts of the country for the past three years.
Severe drought conditions throughout Colombia have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of children over the past five years, with climate experts putting the blame squarely on the El Niño weather pattern, Adventist Review reported. As a result, about 3.5 million people there are in need of food aid, according to Voice of America.
About 330 million people have been affected by drought conditions in India, where the water shortage is coinciding with extended heat waves that are helping to cause deadly cases of heat stroke, dehydration and hunger, the BBC reported.
An extended drought in California has wreaked havoc on the state's trees and other plant life thanks in part to the resulting wildfires that have consumed parts of the state this summer, ABC News reported. The developments are not good news for the state's future. "The drought has some momentum, there could be a wave of mortality that continues for the next several years," researcher David Schimel told ABC News.