Taking a look back at the year, National Geographic magazine photo editor Sherry Brukbacher chose 20 powerful images representing the spectrum of events that helped to shape 2013.
Brukbacher says the images in this collection weren't necessarily the most popular or viral pictures—some may even have escaped wide attention entirely.
But, she says, "every image in the gallery takes the viewer beyond the immediate impact of the moment and directly into the broader meaning and repercussions of the event on individuals, communities, and the world."
In the photo above, a woman carries her child through a field of debris near the collapsed Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma, on May 20, 2013, after a massive tornado struck the Oklahoma City suburbs.
The twister carved a 20-mile (32-kilometer) path and generated winds of up to 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour), reducing entire neighborhoods to rubble. The storm left 25 people dead, including seven children at Plaza Towers.
—Korena Di Roma