While some idiots may deny it, human activity since the Industrial Revolution has had a major impact on the planet. Pillaging the land for natural resources, pumping toxins into the atmosphere, destroying habitats—all these things have led to the earth changing, and this video shows just how much of an impact our activity has had.
Google Earth Engine is a project that collates satelleite data from the last 40 years so that anyone—scientists, technologists, you, me—can use it for various applications ("detecting deforestation, classifying land cover, estimating forest biomass and carbon, and mapping the world’s roadless areas").
Recently they've collaborated with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NASA and TIME to create the Earth Engine Timelapse, a video which shows the changing landscape of our planet, with events condensed to seconds rather than years. Events like Iran's Lake Urmia drying up or the deforestation of the Brazilian rainforest or the Columbia Glacier retreat.
Working with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NASA and TIME, we're releasing more than a quarter-century of images of Earth taken from space, compiled for the first time into an interactive time-lapse experience. We believe this is the most comprehensive picture of our changing planet ever made available to the public.
Built from millions of satellite images and trillions of pixels, you can explore this global, zoomable time-lapse map as part of TIME's new Timelapse project. View stunning phenomena such as the sprouting of Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon and urban growth in Las Vegas from 1984 to 2012. (via)
It's scary and fascinating and a real eye-opener. What better warning do we need that we really, really need to focus our energies—as a planet—on confronting and halting climate change as best we can?