1 of 10 Carroll Glacier. Left: August 1906. Right: September 7, 2003. 1906 photo taken by Charles Will Wright; 2003 photo taken by Bruce F. Molnia. Courtesy of the Glacier Photograph Collection, National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. NASA Carroll Glacier. Left: August 1906. Right: September 7, 2003. 1906 photo taken by Charles Will Wright; 2003 photo taken by Bruce F. Molnia. Courtesy of the Glacier Photograph Collection, National Snow and Ice Data Center/World Data Center for Glaciology. NASA The La Escondida Mine, an open-pit mine in northern Chile, produces the most copper of any mine in the world — some 360 million metric tons per year. Its impact on the Atacama Desert environment can be seen by comparing the 1975 image, taken before mining began, with the 2008 picture. The blue and white areas in the center of the 2008 image are the mine?s infrastructure and pits. The darker blue object at the lower left is a waste reservoir. The Escondida Mining Company began extracting copper at this location, along with some gold and silver, in 1990. Since 2005, the company has also been working a second open-pit mine about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the main site shown here. United Nations Environment Pro Left: January 12, 1976. Right: February 2, 2007. Baban Rafi Forest is the most significant area of woodland in the Maradi Department of Niger, a west African country on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. Located at the southern extreme of the Sahel, Baban Rafi has areas of both savannah and Sahelian vegetation. These pictures show the loss of a significant fraction of the natural landscape (darker green areas) of the forest to agriculture. Population in this region quadrupled during the 40 years leading up to the 2007 image, and intense demand for agricultural land has led to near-continuous use, with shortened or no fallow period to recover fertility. The remaining woodlands are overly exploited for fuel wood and non-wood forest products. United Nations Environment Pro Left: January 3, 1974 to December 26, 1978. Center: October 16, 2001. Right: January 18, 2010. When Lake Faguibine, in northern Mali, is full, as it was in the 1970s (left), it is among the largest lakes in West Africa, covering approximately 590 square kilometers (228 square miles). During the great droughts of the 1970s and 1980s, Faguibine began shrinking and in the 1990s it dried up completely. With the lake all but gone, many local livelihoods also dried up, including agriculture, fishing and dry-season grazing. Despite some better rainfall years since the 1990s, Lake Faguibine has not significantly refilled, only forming a small pond for a few years during the wet seasons. The 2010 wet-season satellite image shows a pool about 35 square kilometers (14 square miles) in area (six percent of the 1974 area). United Nations Environment Pro Left: September 7, 2009. Center: July 16, 2010. Right: August 1, 2010. Extreme drought on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Siberia led to a series of major fires in 2010. The 2009 image shows the area before the fires began. At lower left is the Penzhinskaya Guba (bay). Green colors show vegetation and white/gray shades represent clouds. In the center picture, a major burn is visible in the low lands. The dark color shows burned area; light blue shows smoke. In the picture on the right, the burned area has expanded and additional fires have broken out in the lower right. By early August, an area more than 30 miles (48 kilometers) wide had burned. Regional resource managers and fire-fighting officials used data from the Landsat satellite to monitor the fires and their impact on vegetation. Thematic Mapper sensor onboard Left: January 25, 2011. Right: January 28, 2012. Pine Island is one of the largest and fastest-moving glaciers in Antarctica. The Pine Island Glacier Basin contributes more ice to the sea than any other ice-drainage basin in the world, and this has increased due to recent acceleration of the ice stream caused by thinning of the glacier. Scientists are concerned about the impact Pine Island's continued thinning will have on sea level. The 2011 image shows a series of splits along the western edge of the glacier. The same area in 2012 reveals a major break that will eventually extend all the way across the glacier and calve a giant iceberg expected to cover about 350 square miles (900 square kilometers). U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Left: January 2001. Right: November 2009. Lake Atitlan is a large lake without any natural outlet, nestled among the mountains of southwestern Guatemala. Its watershed supports the production of corn, coffee, beans and various vegetables. But after decades of pollution, the lake shows signs of severe environmental stress. It suffered a serious outbreak of cyanobacteria as a consequence of millions of liters of household runoff and overflow from thousands of hectares of agricultural land. The stress has been accelerated by the introduction of dozens of invasive aquatic species. The 2009 image, taken by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument onboard NASA's Terra satellite, shows algal blooms over approximately 38 percent of the lake surface. United Nations Environment Pro Left: August 6, 1987. Right: July 23, 2011. The landscape of Kazakhstan's Mangystau Province, near the Caspian Sea, has changed since oil and gas deposits in the region began to be exploited in the early 1990s. The 2011 image shows production facilities in the desert with settlements built around them. Increased fossil fuel production in this area has raised concerns about the quality and availability of freshwater needed for rural development and public health. USGS Landsat Missions Gallery, Left: August 7, 1993. Right: July 8, 2011. These images show changes to the western coastline of Sonora, Mexico due to the construction of shrimp farms over the past two decades. While the shrimp industry has generated profits and jobs, there have been concerns about its effect on the ecosystems of the region, and disputes have arisen about property rights to the communal coastal lands. USGS Landsat Missions Gallery, These images show the growth of the Dallas-Fort Worth urban area into the surrounding countryside over a 30-year period. The population of the combined metroplex has grown substantially from about 2.4 million people in 1970 to 3.8 million in 1988 and 5.6 million in 2002. The Ray Roberts Reservoir (northwest of Dallas) and Joe Pool Lake (southwest of Dallas) were added sometime between the 1974 and 1989 images. The Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, which first opened to traffic on January 13, 1974, can be seen to the north of Dallas-Fort Worth in all three images. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
To mark this year's Earth Day Sunday, NASA's Global Climate Change program has published a series of images highlighting the drastic impact of climatic change on the earth's environment.
NASA's Global Climate Change website aims to improve understanding of the earth's changing climate and provides easy-to-understand information about the causes and effects of these changes.
Called the "State of Flux," each of the images taken from space chronicles changes that have taken place on earth's surface over a period of time.
The images are presented in pairs highlighting the "before and after" effects of climatic change. This includes changes seen during destructive natural events like floods and droughts and the retreat of glaciers.
The images also portray the expanding footprint of urban areas due to population growth.
"Seeing our planet from space gives us a global view that we can't get elsewhere," said Amber Jenkins, editor of the Global Climate Change site.
"It underscores how fragile and interconnected our planet is, and how it is constantly changing. With this new version of the gallery, we want people to be better able to immerse themselves in the images, and gain that sense of perspective," he said.
More than 160 comparison images have been released by Nasa's Global Climate Change website showing the drastic impact of ice, human impact, water, land cover and other extreme events on the earth's environment.
A particularly interesting feature of the image gallery released by the site is that it has a "map view" which places each image into its geographical context. This enables viewers to zoom into particular locations on the map, or select by region, and see where particular changes are taking place around the globe.
NASA also has organized a number of programs on the occasion of the 2012 Earth Day to increase awareness of the general public. This includes a series of activities and exhibits at the National Mall in Washington along with other programs held at the Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
Start the slideshow to catch a glimpse of the drastic impacts of earth's climatic change on its environment: