Plant life is flourishing on the Antarctic Peninsula, indicating a dramatic increase in the rate of warming due to climate change. LONDON, 27 May, 2017 – Antarctica is getting greener. British biologists have documented a four-fold or even…
By Richard Luscombe, The Guardian If Florida gleaned anything from Hurricane Andrew, the intensely powerful storm that tore a deadly trail of destruction across Miami-Dade County almost exactly 25 years to the day that Hurricane Harvey…
November 13, 1986 – October 30, 2016
Large areas within the Amazon rainforest have undergone large-scale deforestation over the past few decades. However, in locations like the Peruvian Amazon, most of the deforestation is caused in recent years by small-scale agriculture, according to the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project. These images show land about 25 miles (about 40 kilometers) northwest of Pucallpa along the Aguaytia River. Lush green dominates the 1986 image (left), while deforested land is light green or pink in the 2016 image. Two large-scale oil palm plantations dominate the 2016 image.
Images taken by Landsat. Source: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat Missions Gallery: “Monitoring Deforestation in the Amazon”; U.S. Department of the Interior / USGS and NASA.
1984 – 2012
The area of the Arctic Ocean covered in ice increases during the winter and then shrinks during the summer, usually reaching the year’s low point in September. The minimum coverage for 2012 set a record low since at least 1979, when the first reliable satellite measurements began. These images compare the 1984 minimum, which was roughly equal to the average minimum extent for 1979–2000, with that of 2012, when the minimum was about half that. The 2013 minimum was larger, but continued the long-term downward trend of about 12 percent sea-ice loss per decade since the late 1970s, a decline that accelerated after 2007. The 2016 minimum was tied for the second-lowest on record. “At the rate we’re observing this decline,” said NASA scientist Joey Comiso, “it’s very likely that the Arctic’s summer sea ice will completely disappear within this century.”
Images by NASA Scientific Visualization Studio. Information sources: 2012: NASA Earth Observatory, 2013: NASA Earth Observatory, 2016: NASA Global Climate Change.
January 26, 1992 – April 4, 2017
Mount Pinatubo had likely been dormant for hundreds of years, making it difficult to persuade local residents to evacuate once it began showing signs of an eruption during the spring of 1991. When it did erupt on June 15, 1991, it was one of the largest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century. Today, the mountain is relatively quiet and about 984 feet (about 300 meters) shorter than it was before the eruption. In the 2017 image (right), green near the summit indicates forest regrowth, and pink stretches streaming from the mountain show scars from fast-moving floods of volcanic ash and water. Called “lahars,” these floods affected more people than the eruption itself and continue to be hazardous.
Images taken by Landsat. Source: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat Missions Gallery: “Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, Erupted 26 Years Ago”; U.S. Department of the Interior / USGS and NASA.
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