Earth Day 50

Earth Day was first organized in 1970 to remember and appreciate the environment, and our responsibilities and roles within it. On April 22, 2020, we observe the 50th Earth Day, and though many improvements have been made, environmental challenges remain. In the past five decades, the population of the Earth has more than doubled—more than 75 percent of the people alive today were born after 1970—and the increased demand on our limited resources makes sustainable solutions even more important. Collected here are 31 images of our world from recent years, each a glimpse into some aspect of our environment, how it affects and sustains us, and how we affect it.

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  • Andy Buchanan / AFP / Getty

    The Up Helly Aa Viking Fire Festival

    Images of the annual fire festival held in the Shetland Islands from the past 20 years.

  • Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty

    The Snow Monkeys of Nagano

    Images of Japanese macaques relaxing and staying warm in the waters of a mountain hot spring

  • Peter White / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Firefly Forest, Husky Club, Turnip Toss

    Frustration at the Australian Open, a light show in London, Republic Day parade rehearsals in India, snow cover in Yosemite Valley, anti-government protests in Peru, and much more

  • Yannick Gouguenheim / Ocean Art

    Winners of the 2022 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest

    Some of the top images from the 14 categories of underwater photography in this year’s competition