Google Earth update shows how climate change has morphed our planet


The revised timelapse feature lets you see glaciers receding and sea levels rising in even sharper detail.


In 2013, Google released Google Earth Timelapse, an interactive viewer that lets users see satellite images of Earth from 1984 to the present, giving a rapid timelapse look at how human development and climate change have shaped our planet. Also in 2013, Popular Science reported that the scientific consensus surrounding human-driven climate change was stronger than ever. With Google’s new update to Timelapse, users can see the effects of global climate change even more sharply, including melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and receding forests.

With more satellite data driving this update, viewers can watch the effects of climate change, such as Exit Glacier in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula rapidly receding over the past three decades. According to a news release from Google, this update uses « four additional years of imagery, petabytes of new data, and a sharper view of the Earth from 1984 to 2016. » This means it’s easier for users to not only see the effects of climate change, but also the effects of rapid human population growth.

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