NASA has released a series of more than 500 images showing that climate change is real.
There are 259 photos taken in the past – some up to 40 years ago – and 259 photos taken more recently, and the differences are stark.
In one sentence about photos Islands Ok Glacier has melted into another Forest fires have scorched the land in the pampas region of Argentina and in a third m Onsoon floods can be seen in Pakistan.
The satellite images were published by the US space agency for their Images of Change project, which highlights the effects of climate change on the earth.
They also show how urbanization, fire and flood damage have taken their toll, some with devastating changes within a few months and others slowly over decades.
The arctic sea ice
NASA said, “The ice-covered area of the Arctic Ocean increases in winter and then shrinks in summer, usually reaching the lowest point of the year in September.
“The 2012 minimum coverage hit a record low since at least 1979, when the first reliable satellite measurements began. These images compare the 1984 minimum, which was roughly the average minimum for 1979-2000, to that of 2012, when the minimum was roughly that Half of it. “
NASA scientist Joey Comiso said, “At the rate at which we are seeing this decline, it is very likely that the Arctic summer sea ice will disappear entirely this century.”
Ice avalanche in the Tibetan Aru Range
NASA said: “The collapse of a glacier tongue on July 17, 2016 caused a huge stream of ice and stone to tumble through a narrow valley in the Tibetan Aru Range.
“Nine people in the remote village of Dungru were killed along with their herds of 350 sheep and 110 yaks.
“The ice avalanche, one of the largest ever recorded, left debris up to 30 meters thick on an area of 10 square kilometers.
“The reason for the breakdown has so far escaped glaciologists.”
Shrinking glaciers in New Zealand
NASA said, “New Zealand contains over 3,000 glaciers, most of which are in the Southern Alps of the South Island. The glaciers have been retreating since 1890, with brief periods of small advances.
“In 2007, scientists at the country’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) attributed this change primarily to global warming.
“Without significant climate cooling, the glaciers would not return to their previous sizes.
“The differences between 1990 and 2017 can be seen in this pair of images, which includes the Müller Glacier, Hooker Glacier and Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s longest.”
James River Floods in South Dakota
NASA said, “These images show part of the James River in eastern South Dakota.
“The 2015 image shows the river in a typical spring, while the 2020 image overflows its banks.
“This and other sections of the river have been at high water level since spring 2019 False color Images, ice appears light blue and water is dark blue.
“The blue area that merges with the James from below is Putney Slough, which was also flooded.”
Drought in Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah
NASA said, “A prolonged drought coupled with water abstraction has caused a dramatic drop in Lake Powell water levels.
“These images show the northern portion of the lake, which is actually a deep, narrow, meandering reservoir that extends upstream from Arizona to southern Utah.
“The picture from 1999 shows the water level almost full. By May 2014 the lake had sunk to 42 percent of capacity.”
Forest fires are scorching the Argentine pampas
NASA said, “As of mid-December 2016, around two dozen forest fires in Argentina’s pampas have consumed about 2.5 million acres.
“Probably caused by thunderstorms after a period of drought, the first fires started southwest of the city of Bahía Blanca, as shown by small red scars in the picture from December 22nd, which cover an area of about 100,000 acres.
“Despite the rain, the fires continued at the end of December.
“On January 7, 2017, the Landsat 8 satellite’s Operational Land Imager (OLI) captured dramatic images of major red burn scars in the Argentine provinces of La Pampa and Rio Negro.”