(rotator image): aral_sea_1000_lb.JPG
(please use two of the three images if possible to show change)
Alt tag: Green lake in desert landscape (NASA)
Headline: Earth in Distress
A huge water reservoir that millions of people in cities rely on is being depleted. A mountain once covered in glaciers now lies bare. Where there used to be rain forest there are now pastures. And the story goes on.
The satellite images in this photo gallery, which come from NASA’s Global Climate Change page, show the human impact on land, water and air over time. They document a planet in a “state of flux.”
Photo 1: kilimanjaro_lb_1200.JPG
Alt tag: Brown mountain with a white cap (NASA/USGS)
Headline: Mount Kilimanjaro’s icecap shrinking
Left image: February 1993. Right image: February 2000. Africa’s Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. There has been a dramatic decline in Kilimanjaro’s icecap in recent years and many scientists believe climate change is partially responsible for the decline.
Photo 2: LakeMead.JPG
Alt tag: Changing shoreline (NASA)
Headline: Lake Mead losing water
Left: January 2001. Right: April 2004. Lake Mead, one of the largest reservoirs in the world, borders Arizona and Nevada in the western United States. Three states and northern Mexico depend on the lake for drinking water. Less-than-average snow fall over the last decade has caused the lake water level to drop 38 percent below capacity.
Photo 3: radiating_1000x526.JPG
Alt tag: One blue-red Earth and one blue-green Earth (NASA)
Headline: A radiating planet
Both images were taken in April 2001. The image on the left shows heat from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere radiating into space. The image on the right shows sunlight reflected back out to space from oceans, land, clouds and aerosols. Scientists seeking to understand climate change must determine what drives changes within the Earth’s radiation balance. These images help them get those answers.
Photo 4: Mato-grosso-2-LB.JPG
Alt tag: Red images showing clear-cutting (NASA/USGS)
Headline: 20,000 km2 of forest a year
Left: 1992. Right: 2006. Mato Grosso state in Brazil has been hit hard by logging. One-quarter of the area in the picture on the left had been clear-cut for pastures and farms in 1992. By 2006, 80 percent of the rain forest was gone. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, which has been depleted at a rate of about 20,000 square kilometers annually, remains a big contributor to global carbon dioxide emissions.
Photo 5: Dust.JPG
Alt tag: First picture showing peninsula on clear day, second showing it covered in yellow dust (NASA)
Headline: Dust clouds in China and Korea affect climate
Left: March 2002, a relatively clear day. Right: April 2002, a day of extremely dusty skies. Storms transport mineral dust from the deserts of China and Mongolia over great distances, along with pollution from agriculture and industry. Thick clouds of dust block substantial amounts of incoming sunlight, which in turn can have a cooling effect on regional climates.
Photo 6: OilMine.JPG
Alt tag: Oil fields in green landscape (NASA)
Headline: Hunting for oil
Left: September 2000. Right: July 2007. These open pit mines in Alberta, Canada, have sands that contain refinery-ready raw crude oil and diesel fuel. Opponents of oil sand projects say the mining and transportation of oil degrades the environment and prolongs dependence on fossil fuels, which contribute to climate change.
Photo 7: aral_sea_1000_lb.JPG
Alt tag: Three pictures showing green lake drying up (NASA)
Headline: Aral Sea drying up
Left: 2000. Middle: 2004. Right: 2009. Once the second-largest inland body of water in Asia, the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan has shrunk dramatically over the last 30 years. Crop irrigation is largely responsible for the drop in water level. As the sea diminishes, the region has seen changes in climate conditions and increasing sandstorms.
Photo 8: co2_1000_lb.JPG
Alt tag: Two colorful globes next to scales (NASA)
Headline: CO2 levels on the rise
Left: July 2003. Right: July 2007. Both images show the spreading of carbon dioxide around the globe as it follows large-scale patterns of circulation in the atmosphere. The color codes in these two pictures are different to account for the carbon dioxide increase from 2003 to 2007. If the color bar for 2003 were to be used for 2007, the resulting 2007 map would be saturated with reddish colors, and the fine structure of the distribution of carbon dioxide obscured.
Photo 9: las_vegas_800lb.JPG
Alt tag: Green dot in red desert growing larger (NASA/USGS)
Headline: Desert city sprawling
Left: 1984. Right: 2007. These images show the urban sprawl of Las Vegas, Nevada, and the shrinking of Lake Mead, on the border of Nevada and Arizona. Las Vegas’ growing population demands more water, while below-average rainfall and snow melt have decreased the water levels in the city’s main reservoir.
Photo 10: bolivia_deforest_lb_1000.JPG
Alt tag: Red images showing patches of bare earth (NASA/USGS)
Headline: Clearcutting in Bolivia
Left: June 1975. Middle: July 1992. Right: August 2000. Since the mid-1980s, the resettlement of people from the Andean high plains and a large agricultural development effort (the Tierras Bajas project) have led to massive deforestation in this area.