Tech & Science

Earth Day 2018 Photos: NASA Images From Space Show Climate Change's Impact on Our Planet

As the world celebrates Earth Day 2018, NASA images put into perspective how much the Earth has changes as a result of climate change. These satellite photographs show how climate change has affected our blue planet, and warn of what we have to lose if current global warming rates continue.

mumbai march 19 1988 Mumbai's mangroves March 19, 1988. The dark green areas flanking the creek are mangrove forests, which play an important role in flood control, water quality and wildlife habitat. NASA Earth Observatory

mumbai january 30 2017 Mumbai's mangroves January 30, 2017. Urban development has encroached on the forests, but as sediment buildup reduced the width of the waterway, the mangroves spread into the newly deposited land, reducing the net loss. NASA Earth Observatory

Climate change refers to how weather patterns, whether regional or on a global level, have changed for an extended period of time. Climate change has happened throughout history due to natural changes in greenhouse gas levels, NASA reported. However, amounting science suggests that the current weather pattern changes Earth is experiencing are a direct result of human influence.

greenland sept 28 1987 Greenland’s Tracy and Heilprin glaciers September 28, 1987. Tracy and Heilprin are the two largest glaciers that drain into Inglefield Bredning, a fjord on Greenland’s northwestern coast. Tracy’s loss rate zoomed to about 1,194 feet (364 meters) per year, more than three times as fast as Heilprin’s 358 feet (109 meters) per year. NASA Earth Observatory

greenland sept 30 2017 Greenland’s Tracy and Heilprin glaciers September 30, 2017. Greenland's glaciers are melting as the seawater beneath them warms. NASA Earth Observatory

Related: Atlantic Ocean Currents Are Weakening, May Bring More Winter Storms And Summer Heat Waves

glacier loss in new guinea nov 3 1988 Glacier loss in New Guinea November 3, 1988. The ice appears as blue in these false color images. NASA Earth Observatory

glacier loss in new guinea dec 5 2017 Glacier loss in new guinea December 5, 2017. The ice on the peaks of the Sudirman Range of mountains on New Guinea has greatly diminished. NASA Earth Observatory

The weather pattern changes that result due to climate change have serious implications for life on Earth. For example, temperature rising, warmer oceans, melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events have a direct and adverse effect on humans and non human populations.

walter lake oct 22 1988 Walker Lake, Nevada October 22 1988. Nevada’s Walker Lake has lost 90 percent of its volume since about a century ago. NASA Earth Observatory

walter lake oct 22 2017 Walker Lake, Nevada October 22, 2017. As the inflow of freshwater has declined over the years, the concentration of salt and other dissolved solids has increased. NASA Earth Observatory

Related: Antarctica’s Glaciers Are Melting From Below At An Alarming Rate

In their “Images of Change” NASA captured exactly what climate change looks like over an extended period of time when photographed by satellites. From the melting of Greenland’s Tracy and Heilprin glaciers, to the shrinking of Walker Lake in Nevada, the images are haunting.  According to the government agency, if change isn’t made fast, Earth may reach a tipping point from which it is unable to recover. 

south patagonian glacier jan 27 1985 South Patagonian Glacier January 27, 1985. The South Patagonian Ice Field spans about 5,000 square miles (13,000 square kilometers) across Chile and Argentina, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest contiguous ice field outside of Antarctica. NASA Earth Observatory

south patagonian glacier feb 4 2017 South Patagonian Glacier February 4, 2017. The glacier shown here, designated “HPS-12,” has shrunk from 16 miles (26 kilometers) long in 1985 to 8 miles (13 kilometers) in 2017, detaching from three other glaciers in the process. NASA Earth Observatory

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