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This Online Tool Shows How We, and Our Planet, are Changing


This Online Tool Shows How We, and Our Planet, are Changing


EarthTime allows users to explore environmental trends such as coral bleaching, as shown in the image above.



This Online Tool Shows How We, and Our Planet, are Changing

By Gill Cassar
web only

Anecdotal evidence of urban sprawl, renewable energy uptake, deforestation and bleached corals are all over our newsfeeds and social-media channels. Yet to date, demonstrating the drivers and consequences of planetary change on a global and local level simultaneously has been difficult to do.

That’s set to change with the launch of EarthTime. This online, open-source geospatial tool allows a user to zoom into any location on the planet and see changes to the surface of the Earth since 1984. By layering 300 geospatially tagged and peer-reviewed data sets over this satellite layer, the platform brings to life systems in transition through time, all the way up to the present moment.

In celebration of Earth Day, the Carnegie Mellon University, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, are launching a new website to make this data available to all. Now, it's possible to explore expert analyses that connect humanity and the planet:

The Rise and Fall of Forests

Explore some of the principle drivers of deforestation, and its impact on forests and efforts to protect the lungs of the planet:

Coral Collapse

Examine how ocean warming is causing corals to bleach and die:

The Renewable Energy Revolution

Watch how clean energy is expanding across the globe, from wind to solar PV and solar farms:

Rising Seas

Watch how sea levels are predicted to rise as temperatures warm, and what this means for coastal cities:

The Retreat of Glaciers

Contemplate the decline of glaciers, driven in part by climate change:

Fresh water on the move

Explore the growth and decline of rivers, lakes and other surface water:

Additional Reading

Embracing the Circular Economy: Don’t Call Me ‘Garbage’
Green Energy, Green Economy Avert Decline
We Have the Tools to Fight Climate Change. It’s Time to Start Using Them

Original content can be found at the website of World Economic Forum.

♦ This online tool shows how we, and our planet, are changing 

This article is reproduced under the permission of World Economic Forum (WEF) and terms of Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License (“CCPL”). It presents the opinion or perspective of the original author / organization, which does not represent the standpoint of CommonWealth magazine.