Google Earth’s new time-lapse feature shows the effect of climate change
SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) – Google Earth app adds new video functionality that draws on nearly four decades of satellite imagery to vividly illustrate how climate change has affected glaciers, beaches, forests and other places in the world.
the tool unveiled Thursday takes place in what is billed as the biggest Google Earth update in five years. Google says it undertook the complex project in partnership with several government agencies, including NASA in the United States and its European counterpart, in hopes of helping a mass audience understand the sometimes abstract concept of climate change in a more tangible way. thanks to its free Earth application. .
Cornell University climatologist Natalie Mahowald believes the mission can be accomplished.
“It’s amazing,” she told The Associated Press after watching a preview of the new feature. “Trying to get people to understand the magnitude of climate change and the land use problem is so difficult due to the long scale of time and space. I wouldn’t be surprised if this software changes the opinion of many people about the extent of the impact humans have on the environment. “
This is not the first time that time-lapse satellite images have been used to show how parts of the world are changing before our eyes due to climate change. Most scientists agree that climate change is due to pollution primarily produced by humans.
But previous images have mostly focused on melting glaciers and have not been widely available on an already popular app like Google Earth, which can be downloaded on most of the more than 3 billion smartphones currently in use around the world.
Google promises that users will be able to see a time-lapse presentation from anywhere they want to search. The feature also includes a storytelling mode highlighting 800 different places on the planet in 2D and 3D formats. These videos will also be available on Google’s YouTube video site, a more widely used service than the Earth app.
The feature was created from 24 million satellite images taken each year from 1984 to 2020 and provided by NASA, the US Geological Survey and the European Union, according to Google. Time-lapse technology was created with the help of Carnegie Mellon University.
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