AP PHOTOS: Urgency of climate talks seen in coal plants, ice

World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_59510 FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 file photo, plumes of smoke rise from Europe's largest lignite power plant in Belchatow, central Poland. As politicians haggle at a U.N. climate conference in Poland over ways to limit global warming, the industries and machines powering our modern world keep spewing their pollution into the air and water. The fossil fuels extracted from beneath the earth’s crust _ coal, oil and gas _ are transformed into the carbon dioxide that is now heating the earth faster than scientists had expected even a few years ago. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_52425 FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 file photo a woman who scavenges recyclable materials from garbage for a living is seen through a cloud of smoke from burning trash, surrounded by Marabou storks who feed on the garbage, at the dump in the Dandora slum of Nairobi, Kenya. As politicians haggle at a U.N. climate conference in Poland over ways to limit global warming, the industries and machines powering our modern world keep spewing their pollution into the air and water. The fossil fuels extracted from beneath the earth’s crust _ coal, oil and gas _ are transformed into the carbon dioxide that is now heating the earth faster than scientists had expected even a few years ago. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_86739 FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 file photo smoke rises from a factory as a truck loaded with cars crosses a bridge in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_99849 In this Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 photo Indian ragpickers search recyclable materials at a garbage dumping site on the outskirts of Gauhati, India. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_92204 In this Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 photo piles of electronic waste is placed next to a drain chocked with plastic and garbage in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_45962 In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 photo the smog ridden Kathmandu city is seen atop of hill in Kathmandu, Nepal. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_61190 In this slow-shutter zoom effect photo taken on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, commuters backed up in traffic during the morning rush hour, in Brussels, a city that regularly experiences pollution alert warnings. As politicians haggle at a U.N. climate conference in Poland over ways to limit global warming, the industries and machines powering our modern world keep spewing their pollution into the air and water. The fossil fuels extracted from beneath the earth’s crust _ coal, oil and gas _ are transformed into the carbon dioxide that is now heating the earth faster than scientists had expected even a few years ago. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_88049 In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 photo a woman who scavenges recyclable materials from garbage for a living walks across a mountain of garbage at the dump on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini, File)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_82049 In this Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 photo a ragpicker man walks amidst the smoke to search recyclable materials at a garbage dumping site on the outskirts of Gauhati, India. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_94843 FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 file photo a power plant is partially obscured by fog in Minsk, Belarus. As politicians haggle at a U.N. climate conference in Poland over ways to limit global warming, the industries and machines powering our modern world keep spewing their pollution into the air and water. The fossil fuels extracted from beneath the earth’s crust _ coal, oil and gas _ are transformed into the carbon dioxide that is now heating the earth faster than scientists had expected even a few years ago. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits, File)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_72984 In this photo taken Wednesday Dec. 5, 2018 from a plane, smoke stacks are seen near the city of Urumqi China's northwestern region of Xinjiang. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_41300 In this Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 photo cars are stuck in a traffic jam on a bank of the Moskva River outside the Kremlin, with the Russian Foreign Ministry building, center in the background, in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_25308 In this Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018 photo a passenger plane prepares for landing near an oil refinery in Kawasaki, southwest of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_88236 In this Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 photo crows and black kites fly next to a tractor working on a garbage-dump on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. As politicians haggle at a U.N. climate conference in Poland over ways to limit global warming, the industries and machines powering our modern world keep spewing their pollution into the air and water. The fossil fuels extracted from beneath the earth’s crust _ coal, oil and gas _ are transformed into the carbon dioxide that is now heating the earth faster than scientists had expected even a few years ago. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_34255 In this Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 photo discarded television sets are stacked up in an alleyway in an area known for storing electronic waste in New Delhi, India. As politicians haggle at a U.N. climate conference in Poland over ways to limit global warming, the industries and machines powering our modern world keep spewing their pollution into the air and water. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_46720 In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 photo people who scavenge recyclable materials from garbage for a living walk near a mountain of garbage at the dump on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_18449 In this Tuesday, Dec. 11. 2018 photo motorists stuck in traffic jam during a rush hour at the main business district in Jakarta, Indonesia. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_80765 FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 file photo smoke billows from the chimneys at Lethabo Power Station, a coal fired power station, in Vereeniging, South Africa. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)
World_Climate_Photo_Gallery_61346 In this Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 photo toxic froth from industrial pollution floats on Bellundur Lake in Bangalore, India. As politicians haggle at a U.N. climate conference in Poland over ways to limit global warming, the industries and machines powering our modern world keep spewing their pollution into the air and water. The fossil fuels extracted from beneath the earth's crust _ coal, oil and gas _ are transformed into the carbon dioxide that is now heating the earth faster than scientists had expected even a few years ago. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — As politicians haggle at a U.N. climate conference in Poland over ways to limit global warming, the industries and machines powering our modern world keep spewing their pollution into the air and water.

The fossil fuels extracted from beneath the earth’s crust — coal, oil and gas — are transformed into the carbon dioxide that is now heating the earth faster than scientists had expected even a few years ago.

The devastating wildfires, droughts, floods and hurricanes of recent months and years are intensifying the urgency of the two-week conference in Katowice, which is due to end Friday.

But not far from the conference center, plumes of smoke rise from Europe’s largest lignite, or brown coal, power plant, in the central Polish town of Belchatow. Of the 50 most polluted cities in the European Union, 36 are in Poland.

Elsewhere, from the U.S. to Japan and China, the coal plants, oil refineries and other installations needed to power factories and heat homes are playing their role in a warming earth.

The negotiators at the international talks are also discussing financial support to poor countries, which are bearing the brunt of drought and flooding, which translate often into agricultural disaster and famine and are a factor behind greater migration.

The challenge of reducing emissions is made more difficult by the growing demand in the developing world for fuel as people there also seek to achieve the benefits and comforts of the industrialized world.

In Africa and Asia, which have become dumping grounds for the rich world’s waste, it is now common to see poor people scavenging for scraps of paper and other recyclable materials at garbage dumps, competing sometimes with crows or storks.

Fumes from cars are also playing their role in poisoning the air in many cities, from Jakarta and Katmandu to Moscow to Brussels.

Environmentalists in Katowice are warning that time is running out to prevent ecological disaster, a message also being taken up by artists.

In London, 24 large blocks of glacial ice from the waters surrounding Greenland have been placed in front of the Tate Modern and six at other city locations. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson hopes his installation, called “Ice Watch” and launched Tuesday to coincide with the climate conference in Katowice, will impact people emotionally and inspire urgent public action.

The installation will be on show until the ice melts.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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