NASA Releases Incredible Images To Show How Earth Has Changed In Just 30 Years

The Qori Kalis glacier, Peru, retreated in 2011, leaving a lake in its stead. NASA

NASA has released a new series of images that show the remarkable way the world has changed over the last 30 years. The agency has long been using satellite-based imagery and temperature data to study climate change and has built up quite the repertoire of compelling visual evidence.

The images show incredible changes to our planet’s landscapes, from flooding rivers to vanishing lakes, shrinking sea ice to newly created islands. We can even see the dramatic effects of urban expansion and what light pollution looks like from space.

As NASA explains: "Our planet is constantly changing, and we use the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of Earth, improve lives, and safeguard our future." 

The “Images of Change” series is yet another weapon in the arsenal against those who are determined to deny climate change. You can view the entire gallery over on NASA's Images of Change and tumblr pages.


Flooding Rivers

Typhoon Nari caused substantial flooding along the Mekong and Tonlé Sap Rivers in Cambodia in October 2013. The flood affected more than half a million people and more than 300,000 hectares (741,000 acres) of rice fields are believed to have been destroyed.

content-1484655115-flooding-river-1.PNGMekong and Tonlé Sap Rivers, May 17, 2013

content-1484655186-flooding-river2.PNGMekong and Tonlé Sap Rivers, October 24, 2013 


Vanishing Lakes

Lake Poopó, Bolivia's second-largest lake at around 3,000 square kilometers (1,200 square miles), has dried up because of drought and a diversion of water sources for mining and agriculture. The last time this happened in 1994, it took several years for water to return and ecosystems to recover.

content-1484652702-1-lake-poopo-before-2Lake Poopó, April 12, 2013 

content-1484652725-2-lake-poopo-after-20Lake Poopó, January 15, 2016 


Melting Glaciers

The Qori Kalis glacier is the largest outlet glacier of the world’s largest tropical ice cap, the Quelccaya Ice Cap, high in the Andes mountains of Peru. In 1978, the glacier was still advancing. By 2011, the glacier had retreated back on land, leaving a lake some 35 hectares (86 acres) in area and about 60 meters (200 feet) deep.

content-1484653277-1-qori-kalis-glacier-Qori Kalis glacier, July 1978

content-1484653318-2-qori-kalis-glacier-Qori Kalis glacier, July 2011


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