Nature

Earth Day: Google doodle of the climate crisis marks Earth Day


The search engine has released a series of time-lapse satellite images from Google Earth, depicting deforestation, melting glaciers, coral bleaching and receding snow cover, as a stark reminder of the impact of humans on climate and the environment.

The images – four GIFs from four different parts of the world – will each remain on the homepage for several hours at a time throughout the day, Google said in a statement, in a bid to promote global awareness of the Environmental Protection.

Users can see how a glacier atop Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania retreated between December 1986 and 2020, as well as glacial melt in Sermersooq, Greenland, between December 2000 and 2020.

Another image shows coral bleaching on Lizard Island in Australia from March 2016 to October 2017. A fourth shows forests destroyed by a bark beetle infestation due to rising temperatures and severe drought in Elend, Germany, between December 1995 and 2020.

Earth Day is an annual event held on April 22 to raise awareness about environmental protection. This year’s theme is “Investing in our planet,” and the new doodle is designed to intensify discussions on one of the most pressing topics of our time, Google said.

The time lapses contrast with last year’s more optimistic doodle, which was themed “Restoring our Earth.” At the time, Google released an animation of a planted tree, which the company said was meant to show how “everyone can plant the seed of a better future” and “find one small act they can do to restore our Earth”.

Scientists have warned that the world must contain global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrialization temperatures, to avoid worsening and some irreversible impacts of the climate crisis.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released three reports since August, all sounding the alarm that time is running out to put the world on track to avoid the catastrophic effects of the climate crisis. To do this, deep and sustained reductions must be made in greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through weaning off coal, oil and gas.

Heat waves, droughts, wildfires and heavy rains that cause intense flooding are becoming more common in many parts of the world as they warm.

A 2021 report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) found that across the globe, an extreme weather event or climate catastrophe has occurred every day on average for the past 50 years, a frequency that has quintupled over the past 50 years. of this period. Globally, the economic toll of these disasters has increased sevenfold since the 1970s, the WMO reported.


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