These before-and-after photos of rising seas might make you demand climate action.

1. St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy

In Venice, the sea has always been close. After all, this is the city famed for its lovely canals and singing gondoliers paddling locals and tourists about. But after years of rising global temperatures, the water is rising, and engineers are finding it harder and harder to keep their beloved city above it. St. Mark's Square regularly finds itself calf-deep in seawater when high tides and full moons combine. Having floating seawalls and pumping groundwater out of city foundations helps hold back the rise — for now. But the city is sinking and sea levels are rising, and eventually one will prevail.

Here's what this public plaza looked like in 1955:


Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

And here's what it looked like a few weeks ago during Carnival.

Photo by Oliver Morin/Getty Images.

2. Shishmaref, Alaska

This tiny Alaskan village is located on a tiny island about 5 miles off the coast and 100 miles north of Nome. For the past 400 years, generations of Inupiat Eskimos have called it home. But as global temperatures rise and permafrost thaws, storm surges are quickly eroding the coast and undermining the town's homes, water system, and infrastructure.

Sea levels have been rising in Shishmaref for years. Here's what the community looked like in an aerial photo in 1998:

Image via Federal Aviation Administration, Alaskan Region/Wikimedia Commons.

This house once was waterfront. By 2006, the sea had claimed its foundation:


Photo by Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images.

3. The Rockaway Boardwalk in Queens, New York

After superstorm Sandy ripped the boardwalk from its foundations in October 2012, $140 million was invested in repairing it to its former glory. But as global temperatures rise, pumping more moisture into the atmosphere and fueling bigger, stronger storms, it's not a question of if another Sandy will happen but when.

Here's what the boardwalk looked like in August 2012:

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

And this is what was left of it in November 2012 after Superstorm Sandy roared ashore:

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

4. Pacifica, California

Nestled alongside the ocean, Pacifica looks like a dream. But for the people living in the cliffside apartments and homes that dot the coast, it's a slow-moving nightmare. For years, strong storms (which compelling evidence suggests are fueled by man-made climate change) have eroded and undermined its picturesque cliffs, leaving some buildings a few feet from collapsing and others literally hanging in the air.

Here's a cliff-top home overlooking the Pacific just last year:

Image via Google Maps.

And here's a photo of the same home from another angle taken Jan. 27, 2016:

Note the patio hanging over the edge of the cliff. Image by Josh Edelson/Getty Images.

5. Miami Beach, Florida

At the Miami debates, Florida mayors begged presidential debate moderators to ask candidates about their views on climate change. It wasn't an unreasonable request. South Florida — Miami in particular — is viewed by climate scientists as one of the most likely places to disappear as sea levels rise a predicted 6 feet before the end of the century. First to go? Potentially Miami Beach, whose movie-ready boulevards are already flooding ankle deep when high tides and full moons combine.

Here's Miami Beach in 1935:

Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

And this is what happened in August 2015 when a high tide, a full moon, and rising sea levels combined:

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

6. Grand Lahou, Cote d'Ivoire

The developing world — particularly in Africa's Sahel region—is already hard hit by our changing climate through extreme heat and unending drought. But its coastal regions are threatened, too. In Grand Lahou, a coastal village in Cote d'Ivoire, sea levels have encroached so far inland that they have washed rows of homes away.

Here is Grand Lahou's beachfront in 2007. Notice the tree in the center of the photo behind the house?

Photo by Issouf Sanago/Getty Images.

Here's a photo of that same beach — and same tree — taken just four years later in 2011:

Photo by Issouf Sanago/Getty Images.

It can be jarring to see just how quickly our world is changing from the effects of climate change.

But it's happening. Not 10 years from now. Not during our great grandchildren's generation. But right now in places we know and love. And if we don't get real about dealing with it, it'll only get worse.

Watching climate change transform our world can be paralyzing; it's hard to know what to do to stop a rising tide.

But there are people who can push forward the big changes that need to happen — and it's up to us to make sure they get there. The only thing that's going to drive the change we need is to push the people with power toward action.

And for some of them, the first step is seeing pictures like these that show what climate change might look like when it happens to them.

via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart made Stephen Colbert and his audience uncomfortable on the "Late Show" Monday night when he went on a rant about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stewart believes the virus probably came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, instead of the once near universally accepted belief that it emerged from wet markets in the area.

"Science has, in many ways, helped ease the suffering of this pandemic … which was more than likely caused by science," he said to nervous laughter.

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via The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart made Stephen Colbert and his audience uncomfortable on the "Late Show" Monday night when he went on a rant about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stewart believes the virus probably came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, instead of the once near universally accepted belief that it emerged from wet markets in the area.

"Science has, in many ways, helped ease the suffering of this pandemic … which was more than likely caused by science," he said to nervous laughter.

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True

Each year, an estimated 1.8 million people in the United States are affected by cancer — most commonly cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, and blood cancers such as leukemia. While not everyone overcomes the disease, thanks to science, more people are surviving — and for longer — than ever before in history.

We asked three people whose lives have been impacted by cancer to share their stories – how their lives were changed by the disease, and how they're using that experience to change the future of cancer treatments with the hope that ultimately, in the fight against cancer, science will win. Here's what they had to say.

Celine Ryan, 55, engineer database programmer and mother of five from Detroit, MI

Photo courtesy of Celine Ryan

In September 2013, Celine Ryan woke up from a colonoscopy to some traumatic news. Her gastroenterologist showed her a picture of the cancerous mass they found during the procedure.

Ryan and her husband, Patrick, had scheduled a colonoscopy after discovering some unusual bleeding, so the suspicion she could have cancer was already there. Neither of them, however, were quite prepared for the results to be positive -- or for the treatment to begin so soon. Just two days after learning the news, Ryan had surgery to remove the tumor, part of her bladder, and 17 cancerous lymph nodes. Chemotherapy and radiation soon followed.

Ryan's treatment was rigorous – but in December 2014, she got the devastating news that the cancer, once confined to her colon, had spread to her lungs. Her prognosis, they said, was likely terminal.

But rather than give up hope, Ryan sought support from online research, fellow cancer patients and survivors, and her medical team. When she brought up immunotherapy to her oncologist, he quickly agreed it was the best course of action. Ryan's cancer, like a majority of colon and pancreatic cancers, had been caused by a defect on the gene KRAS, which can result in a very aggressive cancer that is virtually "undruggable." According to the medical literature, the relatively smooth protein structure of the KRAS gene meant that designing inhibitors to bind to surface grooves and treat the cancer has been historically difficult. Through her support systems, Ryan discovered an experimental immunotherapy trial at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD., and called them immediately to see if she was eligible. After months of trying to determine whether she was a suitable candidate for the experimental treatment, Ryan was finally accepted.

The treatment, known as tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy, or TIL, is a testament to how far modern science has evolved. With this therapy, doctors remove a tumor and harvest special immune cells that are found naturally in the tumor. Doctors then grow the cells in a lab over the next several weeks with a protein that promotes rapid TIL growth – and once the cells number into the billions, they are infused back into the patient's body to fight the cancer. On April 1, 2015, Ryan had her tumor removed at the NIH. Two months later, she went inpatient for four weeks to have the team "wash out" her immune system with chemotherapy and infuse the cells – all 148 billion of them – back into her body.

Six weeks after the infusion, Ryan and Patrick went back for a follow-up appointment – and the news they got was stunning: Not only had no new tumors developed, but the six existing tumors in her lungs had shrunk significantly. Less than a year after her cell infusion, in April 2016, the doctors told Ryan news that would have been impossible just a decade earlier: Thanks to the cell infusion, Ryan was now considered NED – no evaluable disease. Her body was cancer-free.

Ryan is still NED today and continuing annual follow-up appointments at the NIH, experiencing things she never dreamed she'd be able to live to see, such as her children's high school and college graduations. She's also donating her blood and cells to the NIH to help them research other potential cancer treatments. "It was an honor to do so," Ryan said of her experience. "I'm just thrilled, and I hope my experience can help a lot more people."

Patrice Lee, PhD, VP of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Exploratory Development at Pfizer

Photo courtesy of Patrice Lee

Patrice Lee got into scientific research in an unconventional way – through the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Lee never met Cousteau but her dreams of working with him one day led her to pursue a career in science. Initially, Lee completed an undergraduate degree in marine biology; eventually, her interests changed and she decided to get a dual doctoral degree in physiology and toxicology at Duke University. She now works at Pfizer's R&D site in Boulder, CO (formerly Array BioPharma), leading a group of scientists who determine the safety and efficacy of new oncology drugs.

"Scientists focused on drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry are deeply committed to inventing new therapies to meet unmet needs," Lee says, describing her field of work. "We're driven to achieve new medicines and vaccines as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety."

Among the drugs Lee has helped develop during her career, including cancer therapies, she says around a dozen are currently in development, while nine have received FDA approval — an incredible accomplishment as many scientists spend their careers without seeing their drug make it to market. Lee's team is particularly interested in therapies for brain metastases — something that Lee says is a largely unmet need in cancer research, and something her team is working on from a variety of angles. "Now that we've had rapid success with mRNA vaccine technology, we hope to explore what the future holds when applying this technology to cancers," Lee says.

But while evaluating potential cancer therapies is a professional passion of Lee's, it's also a mission that's deeply personal. "I'm also a breast cancer survivor," she says. "So I've been on the other side of things and have participated in a clinical trial."

However, seeing how melanoma therapies that she helped develop have affected other real-life cancer patients, she says, has been a highlight of her career. "We had one therapy that was approved for patients with BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma," Lee recalls. "Our team in Boulder was graced by a visit from a patient that had benefited from these drugs that we developed. It was a very special moment for the entire team."

None of these therapies would be available, Lee says without rigorous science behind it: "Facts come from good science. Facts will drive the development of new drugs, and that's what will help patients."

Chiuying "Cynthia" Kuk (they/them) MS, 34, third-year medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Kuk

Cynthia Kuk was just 10 years old when they had a conversation that would change their life forever.

"My mother, who worked as a translator for the government at the time, had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and after her chemotherapy treatments she would get really sick," Kuk, who uses they/them pronouns, recalls. "When I asked my dad why mom was puking so much, he said it was because of the medicine she was taking that would help her get better."

Kuk's response was immediate: "That's so stupid! Why would a medicine make you feel worse instead of better? When I'm older, I want to create medicine that won't make people sick like that."

Nine years later, Kuk traveled from their native Hong Kong to the United States to do exactly that. Kuk enrolled in a small, liberal arts college for their Bachelor's degree, and then four years later started a PhD program in cancer research. Although Kuk's mother was in remission from her cancer at the time, Kuk's goal was the same as it had been as a 10-year-old watching her suffer through chemotherapy: to design a better cancer treatment, and change the landscape of cancer research forever.

Since then, Kuk's mission has changed slightly.

"My mom's cancer relapsed in 2008, and she ended up passing away about five years after that," Kuk says. "After my mom died, I started having this sense of urgency. Cancer research is such that you work for twenty years, and at the end of it you might have a fancy medication that could help people, but I wanted to help people now." With their mother still at the forefront of their mind, Kuk decided to quit their PhD program and enter medical school.

Now, Kuk plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine – not only because they are drawn to the excitement of the emergency room, but because the ER is a place where the most marginalized people tend to seek care.

"I have a special interest in the LGBTQ+ population, as I identify as queer and nonbinary," says Kuk. "A lot of people in this community and other marginalized communities access care through the ER and also tend to avoid medical care since there is a history of mistreatment and judgement from healthcare workers. How you carry yourself as a doctor, your compassion, that can make a huge difference in someone's care."

In addition to making a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ patients, Kuk wants to make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer as well, like their mother had.

"We've diagnosed patients in the Emergency Department with cancer before," Kuk says. "I can't make cancer good news but how you deliver bad news and the compassion you show could make a world of difference to that patient and their family."

During their training, Kuk advocates for patients by delivering compassionate and inclusive care, whether they happen to have cancer or not. In addition to emphasizing their patient's pronouns and chosen names, they ask for inclusive social and sexual histories as well as using gender neutral language. In doing this, they hope to make medicine as a whole more accessible for people who have been historically pushed aside.

"I'm just one person, and I can't force everyone to respect you, if you're marginalized," Kuk says. "But I do want to push for a culture where people appreciate others who are different from them."