The images are phenomenal, but unfortunately they’re not really good news.
In fact, the full title of the series is, “Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet: Images of Change.”
The gist is that they compare photos from before and after a natural or man-made disaster, such as this before photo of Ashland, Kansas taken on March 1, 2017:
Now, here’s an image of Ashland, Kansas after a wildfire taken 16 days later:
Here’s Fort McMurray near Alberta, Canada in 2015 before:
And after the 2016 wildfires that burned some 600,000 acres and destroyed more than 2,400 structures:
Here’s another set from Fort McMurray before and during the wildfires:
How about when nature does the opposite and pours too much water?
Here’s a shot of the Mississippi River near Vicksburgh on March 4, 2016.
And here’s that same area after the river flooded some 16 days later:
NASA has been collecting these images for decades, so they can also give you a quick illustration of long term changes.
For instance, here’s a shot of Beijing, China taken on April 23, 1984:
And here’s a shot of Beijing from July of 2016. It gives you a real sense of China’s rapid urban growth – Beijing has swollen from 119 square miles in 1984 to 503 square miles in 2016:
If you squint, you can just make out the open-pit coal mines in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin back in 1984:
But, when you fast forward to June of 2016, those open pits become much easier to spot from space because they have grown exponentially in the intervening years:
Back to China. This time, the Huang He Delta. First from 1984:
And here it is 30 years later, in 2014:
Here’s one from The Villages, in Florida.
You can watch the land change from agriculture in 1984:
To golf courses in 2011:
And what could be more fitting to retire with than charting the urban growth of Tucson, Arizona, seen here in 1984:
And again in 2011:
It’s not as drastic as what we saw from China, but we had our Industrial Revolution a while back.
Now we have retirement booms, I guess.
And melting glaciers, of course…
Muir Glacier, Alaska. August 13, 1941:
August 31, 2004: