Baban Rafi Deforestation, Niger satellite image.
Baban Rafi Deforestation, Niger satellite image. Credit: NASA.

NASA’s official Tumblr page recently posted a group of images to showcase our planet’s recent surface changes. The pictures compare current snapshots taken from space with photos of the same region ten, twenty, and thirty years ago or more.

The entire photoset is available right now on a dedicated online gallery called ‘Images of Change.’

NASA’s primary concern, among others, is to raise awareness regarding climate change and other relevant issues like overpopulation or forest damage.

“All of this knowledge about our home planet enables policy makers, government agencies and other stakeholders to make informed decisions on critical issues that occur all around the world,” the Tumblr post read.

‘Images of Change’ makes the viewer experience the planet in a whole new level

Great Salt Lake Shrinkage, Utah Satellite image.
Great Salt Lake Shrinkage, Utah Satellite image. Credit: NASA.

Starting with New Delhi’s dramatic urban expansion from 1991 up until 2016, NASA registers the world’s shift to less natural resources and space. The Great Salt Lake’s dramatic reduction of its water supply follows subsequently.

Other examples, both impressive and worrisome, include the melting of the Helheim Glacier in Greenland which has lost most of its ice mass in only four years and is currently a reddish landscape of rock and water.

Lake Poopó in Bolivia is also disappearing as a result not only of drought but water diversion for mining and agriculture. Local communities still rely heavily on this dying body of water for survival.

Exceptional Early Ice Melt, Greenland satellite image.
Exceptional Early Ice Melt, Greenland satellite image. Credit: NASA.

NASA’s growing concern with climate change

The agency has a dedicated page for this phenomenon, which has also regained paramount importance in the public eye since the 2016 presidential election in the United States.

Donald Trump has stated via Twitter that he believes global warming to be a Chinese creation “to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” He tweeted this declaration in 2012, which leaves room for a change of heart on the matter, but this does not seem likely.

The president’s current cabinet picks include outspoken climate deniers and a lot of influence from the fossil fuel industry. His choice for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is Scott Pruit, who has debated and actively undermined that same Agency in previous occasions.

Other selections include Ryan Zinke (Interior), who supported the Keystone XL Pipeline project and said in 2014 that climate change “is not proven.” Also, Rex Tillerson (State), former CEO of ExxonMobil, a company known for its history of lobbying opposition towards climate change proposals.

NASA’s website seeks to deter the notion that fuels most climate deniers, the claim that global warming is scientifically inaccurate. The agency provides online resources, facts, and statistics on the latest climatic developments.

Source: Tumblr