20 Images From NASA That Show How Climate Is Affecting The Earth

Climatic changes take place quite faster than predicted. Extreme climatic conditions, unexpected waves of heat, frequent change in climate are some such natural changes that have taken place due to the bad impacts of global warming. Endless wildfires, melting of glaciers, the threat of flooding have become worse than earlier. 

All these circumstances have made worldwide institutions and organizations to be on the alert about the ongoing situation of the world. NASA is the mother organization that plays the major role among them. NASA has been watching the changes of the locations for years using their space technology expecting to identify the signs of climatic changes.

Images Of Change is the recently released website of NASA that is used to document the devastating climatic changes that take place worldwide. 

Here are some of the notable changes that took over decades and years.

#1 Arctic Sea-Ice Cap Hits Low Records.


This is a comparison of the ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean in 1984 and 2012. A noticeable increase, as well as a shrink, has been recorded in winter and summer respectively. They have witnessed an unusual record of ice in 2012. The net average amount of ice in 2012 is lower than half of the average amount of ice from 1979-2000.  “At the rate, we’re observing this decline,” said NASA scientist Joey Comiso, ‘likely, the Arctic’s summer sea ice will completely disappear within this century.'”

#2 The Aral Sea In Central Asia Starts Shrinking. 


Until the 1960's the Aral Sea was considered the fourth largest lake in the world. This situation changed due to the diversion made to the rivers that fed the Aral Sea. The water of the rivers that fed the sea was diverted to grow cotton and other crops in the arid zones of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. This led to a remarkable shrinkage of the sea that began in the second half of the 20th century. The separation of the Aral Sea from the Southern Aral Sea is surprising. It had split itself into eastern and western lobes. However, the dam that was constructed in 2005 helped the northern sea to recover into a particular amount. But, unfortunately, the eastern lobes of the Southern sea completely dried up due to the prevailed dry conditions in 2014. The loss of such a huge water body to the region has made the winter of the region much colder and summer much hotter than earlier.

#3 Muir Glacier In Alaska Starts Melting.


This was a photograph that was taken in 1941. It shows the lower reaches of Muir Glacier and its tributary, Riggs Glacier. The two glaciers filled Muir Inlet. But, the picture that was taken in 2004 shows the retreat of the Muir Glacier nearly for two centuries. Riggs Glacier has retreated some 0.4 miles (0.6 kilometers). The obvious drastic melting of a couple of glaciers is quite alarming. 

#4 Drying Lake Poopo In Bolivia.


Lake Poopó is the second-largest lake in Bolivia. It has great importance in the local fishing industry. Unfortunately, it has dried up once again due to the diversion of the waterway to mining, agriculture, and droughts. It had dried up the last in 1994 and had taken a few years to recover its waters and ecosystems. During the wet seasons, this lake has spanned an area approaching 1,200 square miles (3,000 square kilometers). It has been vulnerable to fluctuations due to the shallow depth of about 9 feet (3 meters).

#5 Drought In Lake Powell, Arizona, And Utah.


A drastic drop in the water level in Lake Powell has been witnessed due to the long-term droughts and water withdrawals. These images compare the northern and southern parts of the lake. The northern part of it is quite narrow and deep and meanders the reservoir that runs from Arizona upstream into southern Utah. In 1999, the lake had been at its full capacity while in May the volume of water had dropped to 42% of its total capacity by 2014.

#6 Rare Falls Of Snow At The Edge Of The Sahara Desert.


A rare fall of snow has been witnessed in the Sahara Desert in December 2016. They have witnessed a snowfall at the northwestern part of the desert but have disappeared during a small period. Only the snow at the highest elevations was left. The image on the right was captured by Landsat 8. Ain Sefra’s last snowfall occurred in February 1979.

#7 Ice Avalanche In Tibet’s Aru Range.


This shows the collapse of a glacier tongue on 17th July 2016. It caused death to nine people 350 sheep and 110 yaks. This ice avalanche is one of the largest on Earth. It had left debris as much as 98 feet (30 meters) thick across 4 square miles (10 square kilometers). The reason for this unprecedented collapse is not yet discovered by the glaciologists.

#8 Iceland’s Ok Glacier Is Nearing Its Farewell. 


These are the up-to-date pictures of the melting Ok glacier close to the volcano in west-central Iceland.

The glacier had shrunk to about 1square mile / 3 square kilometers in 1978. But, by today less than half a square mile remains.

#9 The Bering Sea Records A Decrease Of Ice.  


The amount of ice detected in the Bering Sea has started decreasing each year since 1850.

According to scientific records, ice covers over 193,000 square miles (500,000 square kilometers) of the sea during late April. This amount is roughly similar to twice the size of Texas. The ice extent in 2018 was half of the normal amount. This rapid process of melting directly affects the phytoplanktons and the entire Bering Sea community.

#10 Shrinking Glaciers In New Zealand.


There are more than 3,000 glaciers in New Zealand. Most of them are seen in the South Island’s Southern Alps. But, these glaciers have been disappearing since 1890 with notable advancements. Scientists never expect these glaciers to return without substantial climate cooling. These images compare the look of the glaciers in 1990 and 2017. The glaciers are the Tasman Glacier, Hooker Glacier, Mueller Glacier, and New Zealand’s longest.

#11 Beach Erosion Takes Place Near Freeport, Texas.


These pictures show a region that is south of Freeport, Texas, where the beach is being lost at a rate of nearly 49 feet (15 meters) per year along an 11-mile (17-kilometer) stretch. This is considered one of the largest erosive hotspots in the world.

The researchers showed a 24% of erosion more than 20 inches (0.5 meters) per year. 28% of sandy beaches grew and 48% remained stable.

#12 Some Of The Glaciers Melt While Some Get Advanced. 


A noticeable decrease in the mass of the glaciers such as those in Chile’s Southern Patagonia Icefield has been witnessed in the past years. 

One among the SPI’s glaciers, the Brüggen Glacier that is also known as the Pio XI Glacier, is a glacier that gets advanced for no obvious reason. The southern front of the glacier has advanced 593 meters (about 1,945 feet) while the northern front, which flows into Lake Greve has advanced 107 meters (about 351 feet). Scientists present the activity inside the glacier as the reason for its advancement. They also consider the depth of the law and the flow speed as extra reasons. 

#13 Tanami Desert Fires, Australia.


The extremely dry weather conditions have led to main fires across northern and central Australia during the last year.

The fires that took place in February caused a lot of damage to the area. The main reasons for the Australian bush wires have been the extremely dry conditions of those areas. The vegetation of the Tanami in Australia is limited to shrubs and short grass. The satellite image that was taken in September shows the dark area from previous fires.

 #14 James River In South Dakota Starts To Flood.


These pictures depict a section of the James River in eastern South Dakota. The image in 2015 shows the river during a typical spring while the image in 2020 shows the overflowing river banks. Ice appears in light blue while water appears in dark blue in these false images. The blue region that is merged with the James River from below is Putney Slough.

#15 Meltwater Pools On George Vi Ice Shelf, Antarctica.


Even the glaciers in Antarctica have started melting by now.  The areas with the blue shade depict the widespread meltwater pooling — spanning some 90 miles (140 kilometers) — ever recorded on the George VI Ice Shelf. Thus a huge slab of ice runs from the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and floats on the waters separating the peninsula from Alexander Island. These pools can destabilize ice shelves, but George VI seems to be strong enough to withstand them.

#16 Derecho Flatters Iowa Crops. 


A powerful windstorm, known as a derecho, tore across Iowa, northern Illinois, and northern Indiana on Aug. 10, 2020, with hurricane-force winds of 75 mph (120 kph) or more. These pictures show cornfields and soybean fields right before and after the storm. The damaged crops have been indicated by the lighter greens of the August image.

#17 Hawaiian Island Vanishes.  


As shown in the September image Northwestern Hawaiian Islands included East Island until hurricane Walaka struck in October 2018. But most of the 11 acres of gravel and sand have been washed away leaving only a couple of silver lands as you can see in the October image. East Isle was a part of the French Frigate Shoals, an atoll in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

#18 The Glacier In Columbia Starts Melting. 


The Columbia Glacier of Alaska descends through the Chugach Mountains into Prince William Sound. The nose of this glacier extended to the northern edge of Heather Islands near the Bay of Columbia in 1794. A rapid retreat started thinning the glacier than expected and the up and down motions of the ocean waves started affecting its flow as much as 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) upstream.

#19 Floods In Peru Take Place Due To Heavy Rains. 


Huge devastation had been caused to Peru due to the heavy rains that began in mid-March 2017. Over 70,000 people had lost their shelters and over 60 people had lost their lives due to the floods and mudslides. Both the Lago La Niña and Piura River have overflowed their river banks. According to the official data reports, 509 bridges and 4,660 miles (7,500 km) of roads have been damaged by now. The salt pans and clouds appear light blue in these false-color images (depressions in the ground in which saltwater evaporates, leaving the salt behind).

#20 Kaskawulsh Glacier Meltwater Alters Downstream Ecosystems. 


Kaskawulsh Glacier which is located in the Kluane National Park and Reserve of southwestern Yukon Territory, Canada, has decreased its mass over the past few decades. This has also caused an unusual instance of river piracy—the diversion of one stream’s headwaters into another. Even though it flowed north via the Slims River into Kluane Lake, reaching the Yukon River and the Bering Sea during the spring in 2016, now the melted water flows towards the East to the Alsek River and the Pacific Ocean via the Kaskawulsh River. It has brought a huge change in flows as well as in water levels and ecosystems.

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