This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 15 °C Saturday 4 July, 2020

Satellite photos show damage to the earth caused by humans

Some of the destruction caused by humans destroying rainforests, draining marshes and drilling for fossil fuels has been captured by Nasa satellite photographs.

Brazil's Rondonia rainforest, 2008
Brazil's Rondonia rainforest, 2008

Reproduced with permission from Business Insider

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.

Satellite photos show damage to the earth caused by humans
1 / 7


  • BRAZIL'S MATO GROSSO, 1992 (vegetation in red)

  • BRAZIL'S MATO GROSSO, 2006 (vegetation in red)

  • ARAL SEA, 2000 (original border in gray)

  • ARAL SEA, 2004 (original border in gray)

  • ARAL SEA, 2009 (original border in gray)

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Read next: