NASA recently released a series called the “Images Of Change” which reveal how our world has changed over the past 30 years.
NASA recently released a series called the “Images Of Change” which reveal how our world has changed over the past 30 years. The series provides a comparison of satellite images that depict everything from island building to flooding to urbanization.
The series shines light on how rapidly our planet has changed in the recent decades due largely to urbanization and climate change. The series allows for clear and apparent contrast of environmental systems over the past decades. Some processes are unlinked to human influence such as island building but many are affected to some degree by human population growth and pollution.
Below you’ll find a sampling of the more spectacular and impactful contrasting images through the past several decades. For a full view on all contrasting satellite images head over to NASA’s Images Of Change.
The image above compares the two dates Sept. 13, 2015 with Aug. 7, 2016 of Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. The before and after shows a massive landslide, equivalent to 60 million SUV’s, falling from a 4,000 foot high mountain cliff into the Lamplugh Glacier.
The Three Gorges Dam above with images from September 1993 to August 2016 was the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant at the time of completion. The completion of the dam forced more than 1.2 million people out of their home, triggered 3,400 earthquakes and many landslides.
Drought conditions in Southern California greatly affected the size of Lake Cachuma from October 2013 to October 2016. The lake at the time of the second image is at 7% of its total capacity as a result of many years of persistent drought conditions. The lake is a primary source of drinking water for Santa Barbara.
The Arctic’s sea ice has been in decline for decades as pictured above comparing September 1984 to September 2016. The total area of persistent (4 years or older) ice has declined from 718,000 square miles to 42,000 square miles in the time period above. In the above images blue/grey ice is younger whereas white ice is older.
From October 1998 to June 2016 significant portions of Yellowstone National Park has been impacted by large scale fires. The image to the left depicts the scarring associated with the 1988 Yellowstone fire that consumed 1.2 million acres. You can note the newly grown vegetation on the edge of the park is much lighter in color than within the park.
Changes in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming show the impact of open pit coal mining from June 1984 to June 2016. The coal mine above is the largest in the United States and produced 22% of the U.S. coal supply in 2014. Once mining at the site is finished, the coal mining company will be required to reclaim the land.
Urban expansion in New Delhi, India from March 1991 to March 2016. The population of New Delhi grew from 9.4 million to 25 million in that time. It is now the second largest city by population behind only Tokyo.
For the rest of the amazing images head over to NASA’s Images Of Change.