Thursday, December 8, 2016

Image of the Day - December 5, 2016

This is the Gibson Desert in Australia which covers over 58,000 square miles. An indigenous group lived there but a drought caused them to move around in the desert and they used a controlled burning technique to stimulate crop/vegetation growth as seen in shades of blue on the left but they became lush that they were constantly susceptible to non-controlled fires so the landscape is now scarred. To the right you can see a crater which was caused by a 60 million year old impact.

Image of the day December 8

 Image of the day December 8
 Great Salt Lake 1985
 Great Salt Lake 2010
Also, check out this totally awesome 3-decade, aerial time-lapse google put together!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Photo of the Day 11/21

Image of the day 11/29

Global warming has had extensive effects in the arctic regions of the world, and is consequently changing the ecosystems present. Shown in the Landsat image is Wrangel Island (Russia) which is located in the Arctic Ocean (at about the same latitude as northern Alaska) and is one of the most restricted nature reserves in the world.

The image shows a bloom of algae surrounding the island. Between the years of 1997 and 2015, the annual production of algae has increased by an estimated 47%. This is a big deal for the aquatic environment because algae are at the base of the food web and are consumed by krill and other invertebrates, which in turn fuel the rest of the food chain.

Generally we hear about the average global temperature increase when talking about global warming, but this is not representative of what is happening in certain areas like the Arctic. When this article was published in the NY Times (Nov 22, 2016), temperatures in the arctic have been as much as 36 degrees above the average temperatures based on records from the Danish Meteorological Institute. In October of 2016, the extent of sea ice was 28.5 % below average (lowest since records were started in 1979). This is about the size of Alaska and Texas put together.

This information was taken from the NY Times Article by Carl Zimmer and can be located at

Saturday, November 26, 2016

assignment 2

This photo has been taken from Land Sat 7 _ ASTER for Palmanova city in Italy 

Image of the Day (11/22)

This image shows the paths of several qanats as they flow into the city of El Jorf, Morocco. Qanats are a system of wells and sloping underground shafts which serve to transport water underground in hot and arid climates without active pumping. In the provided image, what appears to be a continuous line is actually a series of connected wells. This imagery is important because it shows the extent of this ancient infrastructure, but it also tells a story of technological advance and potential water insecurity: when diesel water pumps were introduced to the region making widespread mechanical pumping possible the water table fell so fast that many of these qanats ran dry.  As a direct response to the lowering of the water table the number of date palms being grown in the area in the area has declined by fifty percent. In Morocco date palms serve as a natural barrier against desertification (the dark areas in the image around the city are mostly date palms). This image puts into perspective the fragility of water security and human settlement on the edge of a desert in the face of global climate change.