IT TAKES a lot to provide for 7 billion humans.
Mankind is destroying rainforests, draining marshes and drilling into mountains to provide timber, water, coal and other resources.
Some of this destruction has been captured in before and after satellite photos.
In Rondônia, one of the most deforested Amazon regions, they captured roads and clearings replacing forest over the last decade.
Before a Soviet Union irrigation project in the 1960s, the Aral Sea was the world’s fourth largest lake. During the 2005 to 2009 drought, the lake continued to dry up and was polluted by pesticides and fertilizer.
A twenty-five year time-series of coal mining in West Virginia shows the surrounding “valley fills,” streams filled with excess rock from the mountaintop removal. Scientists concluded that this mining process has “pervasive and irreversible” consequences.
Images also show the spread of illegal logging into the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, where millions of Monarch butterflies spend the winter on just twelve mountaintops.