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How climate change has affected your favorite landscapes

By Mark Tutton, CNN
December 5, 2011 -- Updated 1028 GMT (1828 HKT)
This picture of Lake Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage Center, was taken by Macedonian Igor Kostov. He says climate change has affected his country. "There (are) lot of problems with lack of rain, but pollution, forest degradation, no control of city building, disappoint me," he adds. This picture of Lake Ohrid, a UNESCO World Heritage Center, was taken by Macedonian Igor Kostov. He says climate change has affected his country. "There (are) lot of problems with lack of rain, but pollution, forest degradation, no control of city building, disappoint me," he adds.
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Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
Hangzhou, China
Niagara Falls, USA/Canada
Salzburg, Austria
Belitong Island, Indonesia
Lake Walyungup, Australia
Mlilwane Game Reserve, Swaziland
Tabuk Island, Palompon, Philippines
Skopje City Park, Macedonia
Nockamixon State Park, Pennsylvania, USA
Chiapas, Mexico
Harghita Mountains, Romania
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Port Taranaki, New Zealand
Adirondacks, New York State, USA
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World leaders have been at the COP17 climate conference
  • You sent us photos of your favorite local landscapes
  • iReporters told us why those landscapes must be protected from climate change
  • Many of you said there were signs that climate change was already taking its toll

(CNN) -- This week, world leaders have been at the United Nations Climate Change conference in Durban, South Africa, to discuss climate change.

While climate change is predicted to get worse, it is not a hypothetical problem that will occur in the distant future. The U.N. recently said it is confident that increased greenhouse gas emissions have already increased maximum global temperatures.

In some areas of the world, climate change has begun to threaten natural habitats, such as the village of Shishmaref, Alaska, where rising temperatures have been melting away ice on the coast, threatening wildlife and livelihoods.

We asked you to send us photographs of your favorite local landscape, telling us what that place means to you and why protecting it from climate change is so important.

Climate change a 'hot button issue'

You sent us images of lakes, parks, mountains and waterfalls, from Indonesia to Austria, and New Zealand to the United States. Many of you said there were signs that climate change was already taking its toll, and that action must be taken to protect these special locations.

Michael Goodling sent a picture of zebras at the Mlilwane Game Reserve, in Ezulwini, Swaziland -- a country he says has been hit by late seasonal rains.

"Water holes that should be filling for the animals are just thick dry mud," he said. "If climate change continues to affect Africa it will also change migratory patterns due to food availability. This applies to humans as well. Without the rains, crops will also be later.

He added: "I worry that the next generation will not enjoy the zebra, elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, impala, etc. that I am enjoying now. We must act fast to protect these beautiful creatures, the beautiful children and the vast pristine landscape of this amazing continent."

See more of the amazing photos you sent us.

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