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23 images that show how much we've reshaped planet Earth over the last century

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 26 Mar 2019


Human activity has drastically changed the planet, particularly since the Industrial Revolution.Deforestation and logging, human-driven climate change, and pollution are just some of the ways our species has transformed planet Earth.The consequences of those impacts are becoming increasingly clear. Ice in Greenland and Antarctica is melting rapidly, oceans are warmer than ever before, and four of the last five years were the hottest on record.Animals' natural habitats are also shrinking. In 50 years, 1,700 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals will face a higher risk of extinction than they do today.These photos reveal how much humans have reshaped our planet.There are around 7.7 billion people on Earth today. By the year 2100, there could be around 11.2 billion.Already, the impact we've had on Earth is becoming clearer and clearer.On April 22, the world will celebrate the49th annual Earth Day, a global event that more than a billion people participate in across 192 countries. Earth Day organizers strive to increase worldwide awareness about how humans are changing the planet.Nowhere is that transformation more apparent then in before-and-after comparisons of pictures taken in the same spot. Such photos show dying coral reefs, melting glaciers, and retreating forests in ways both striking and damning.We've juxtaposed some of these images below. In some cases, the two photos were taken as much as 50 years apart; in other cases, only a decade or so passed in between.SEE ALSO:It's been nearly 30 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill. But that crisis pales in comparison to these recent ocean disasters.Melting glaciers are some of the most visually dramatic effects of a warming planet. Here's Alaska's Muir Glacier as pictured in August 1941 (left) and August 2004 (right).You can toggle back and forth to see how much Muir Glacier has melted over the past 120 years.This pair of images shows the retreat of Alaska's Pedersen Glacier from 1917 (left) to 2005 (right).See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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