Our beloved blue marble—teeming with life—is a gem of the solar system and probably the galactic neighborhood. However, in the last decades, planet Earth’s landscapes have been drastically altered due in large part, to the impact of human activities and consequent global warming.
While there are 100 to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way and more than 100 billion galaxies in the Universe—and some say that the number could be around 500 BILLION—Earth is so far the only place where life as we know it exists.
Earth—otherwise known as the World—is the densest planet in the Solar System and the largest of the four terrestrial planets.
Scientific evidence puts our world to be around 4.54 billion years ago, and during this time, our planet has undergone countless changes.
According to scientists, our plant has undergone FIVE major extinction events and of all the species that have ever lived, more than 99% are now extinct.
Mass extinctions on Earth have greatly influenced the development of life on our planet, and scientists are worried that right now we are in the midst of another one.
Curiously, if we are currently going through a mass extinction event then it’s not caused by asteroids or comet impacts nor volcanic eruption. This could be the first ever mass extinction event caused by ONE SPECIES: Us, the human race, aka Homo sapiens.
Scientists point towards the destruction of natural environments, and climate change triggered by rising carbon dioxide levels that have kicked off extinction rates to levels eerily similar to mass extinction events on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago. 66 million years after the latest great extinction event on Earth, the cause may be different but experts are worried that the results will be the same.
Below we have selected some of the most impressive photos that show the disheartening panorama with a before and after – that moves in a range of between 5 and 100 years. More images can be viewed in an exclusive section of the official NASA website.
1 Pedersen, Glacier, Alaska. Summer, 1917 – Summer, 2005:
2 Muir Glacier, Alaska. August 1941 – August 2004:
3 Laguna de Mar Chiquita, Argentina. July 1998 – September 2011.
4 Qori Kalis Glacier, Peru. July 1978 – July 2011.
5 Toboggan Glacier , Alaska. June, 1909 – September 2000.
6 Great Artificial River, Libya, April, 1987 – April, 2010.
7 Mount Cervino in the Alps, the border between Switzerland and Italy. August 1960 – August 2005.
8 Dasht River, Pakistan. August 1999 – June 2011.
9 Bear Glacier, Alaska. July 1909 – August 2005.
10 Oroville Lake, California. July 2010 – August 2016.
11 Aral Sea, Central Asia. August 2000 – August 2014.
12 The Brazilian Amazon state of Rondonia, between 1975 and 2009.
And a video that shows how bad things are:
13 Mabira Jungle, Uganda. November 2001 – January 2006.
14 McCarty Glacier, Alaska. July 1909 – August 2004.
15 Lake Powell. Arizona and Utah. March 1999 – May 2014.
For more images check out Images of Change by NASA.