Google Earth's Timelapse Feature Puts Spotlight on Climate Change

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  • Ndelu Ndaha, 49, a farmer, goes fishing with his son Dimas Mbaha Konda Lura, 11, and Ndaha's friends at Puru Kambera beach, in Kanatang district, East Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia, February 25, 2020. East Sumba, last year reportedly had 249 days in a row without rain, with some experts blaming climate change for more frequent drought-inducing weather patterns, forcing people to adapt to survive. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

    Ndelu Ndaha, 49, a farmer, goes fishing with his son Dimas Mbaha Konda Lura, 11, and Ndaha's friends at Puru Kambera beach, in Kanatang district, East Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia, February 25, 2020. East Sumba, last year reportedly had 249 days in a row without rain, with some experts blaming climate change for more frequent drought-inducing weather patterns, forcing people to adapt to survive. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaGoogle Earth added a timelapse feature to the popular platform on Thursday, April 15, providing a glimpse into how climate change, urbanization and deforestation have altered the planet over the last four decades.

    Created with 24 million satellite images, along with 800 curated videos and interactive guides, the feature allows users to see a timelapse of any place on the planet, using inputs from the NASA, U.S. Geological Survey’s Landsat program and the European Union’s Copernicus program.

    Climate change is causing more frequent and severe flooding, droughts, storms and heatwaves as average global temperatures rise to new records.

    Google Earth’s timelapse tool shows the change in coastlines, sprawling expansion of cityscapes and agricultural lands, as well as simultaneous recession of glaciers, forests and rivers.

    One video shows rapid transition of forests near Bolivia into villages and farms, a major cause for deforestation in the Amazon rainforest; while another shows the recession of the Columbia Glacier in Alaska by 20 kilometers due to global warming.

    Scientists have warned that a rise in global emissions of greenhouse gases may lead to extreme weather conditions and higher risks from natural disasters.

    Read: Study: Global Warming Could Cut Over 60 Countries' Credit Ratings by 2030

    REUTERS