Top view: Glimpses of a changing Earth, as seen from above

As the world commemorates Earth Day today, the footprints of human activity are visible across the planet’s surface

By AP

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

 

Water surrounds the coast of Cabo da Roca near Lisbon, Portugal, on April 14, 2023. — AP
Water surrounds the coast of Cabo da Roca near Lisbon, Portugal, on April 14, 2023. — AP

Published: Sat 22 Apr 2023, 2:51 PM

Charred, drained or swamped, built up, dug out or taken apart, blue or green or turned to dust: this is the Earth as seen from above.

A pair of waterlogged cars sit abandoned in the road as floodwaters recede in the Sailboat Bend neighbourhood of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on April 13, 2023. Over 25 inches of rain fell in South Florida since April 10, causing widespread flooding. — AP
A pair of waterlogged cars sit abandoned in the road as floodwaters recede in the Sailboat Bend neighbourhood of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on April 13, 2023. Over 25 inches of rain fell in South Florida since April 10, causing widespread flooding. — AP

As the world commemorates Earth Day on Saturday, the footprints of human activity are visible across the planet’s surface. The relationship between people and the natural world will have consequences for years to come.


Clouds hover over the Woipan Tepuy on Pemon Indigenous territory at the Gran Sabana, Bolivar state, Venezuela, on April 5, 2023. — AP
Clouds hover over the Woipan Tepuy on Pemon Indigenous territory at the Gran Sabana, Bolivar state, Venezuela, on April 5, 2023. — AP

In Iraq, lakes shrivel and dry up as rain fails to fall, weather patterns altered by human-made climate change. In Florida, the opposite problem: too much water clogs roads and neighbourhoods, trapping cars and stranding people, with the burning of fossil fuels again partially to blame for erratic conditions.

A dried Sawa Lake is surrounded by a dry bed in Iraq on April 10, 2023. — AP
A dried Sawa Lake is surrounded by a dry bed in Iraq on April 10, 2023. — AP

In megacities, like the rapidly growing Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, skyscrapers shoot upwards while in Guyana excavators dig deep into the earth for deposits of gold.


Dry, cracked land is visible around at the Sau reservoir, about 100km north of Barcelona, Spain on April 18, 2023. — AP
Dry, cracked land is visible around at the Sau reservoir, about 100km north of Barcelona, Spain on April 18, 2023. — AP

In California, surfers straddle waves in the ocean. In New Jersey, solar panels float in ponds, and in India, fishing nets sink into the lakes. Residents of neighbourhoods in Utah meanwhile, find water where it shouldn’t be – coursing through their streets and homes.

Boat docks are visible where ice has thawed at Wayzata Bay in Lake Minnetonka, on April 13, 2023, in Wayzata, Minnesota. — AP
Boat docks are visible where ice has thawed at Wayzata Bay in Lake Minnetonka, on April 13, 2023, in Wayzata, Minnesota. — AP

On land, farmers are at the whims of the weather, with patterns being altered by climate change. In Argentina, parched lands turn crops to gray. Just outside Barcelona, new cracked, thirsty water beds appear after months of little to no rain.

A car drives down a road near farmland in Lobos, Argentina, on April 14, 2023. Huge amount of the harvest of soybean and corn has been lost in Argentina due to drought. — AP
A car drives down a road near farmland in Lobos, Argentina, on April 14, 2023. Huge amount of the harvest of soybean and corn has been lost in Argentina due to drought. — AP

Earth Day first began in 1970, heralded as the birth of an environmental movement that encouraged people worldwide to protect the natural world. Today, it also urges action to combat climate change, which has accelerated in recent decades.

Local officials issued evacuation orders for at least 20 homes as temperatures spiked and snowmelt coursed through the streets on April 12, 2023 in Kaysville, Utah. — AP
Local officials issued evacuation orders for at least 20 homes as temperatures spiked and snowmelt coursed through the streets on April 12, 2023 in Kaysville, Utah. — AP

Each year, scientists have warned that the burning of fossil fuels is heating the planet and bringing us closer to breaching internationally agreed upon limits of warming, which would have major effects, such as more extreme weather events.

A farmer spreads his net to catch fish in a lake on the outskirts of Guwahati, India, on April 10, 2023. — AP
A farmer spreads his net to catch fish in a lake on the outskirts of Guwahati, India, on April 10, 2023. — AP

Around the world, activists of all ages are keeping the pressure on governments and companies to do more to protect the environment and combat climate change.

An old boat is photographed half-buried after the water level has dropped at the Sau reservoir, about 100km north of Barcelona, Spain, on April 18, 2023. — AP
An old boat is photographed half-buried after the water level has dropped at the Sau reservoir, about 100km north of Barcelona, Spain, on April 18, 2023. — AP
The Tassawini Gold Mines are visible amid trees in Chinese Landing, Guyana, on April 17, 2023. — AP
The Tassawini Gold Mines are visible amid trees in Chinese Landing, Guyana, on April 17, 2023. — AP
The sun rises over downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on April 11, 2023. — AP
The sun rises over downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on April 11, 2023. — AP
An array of solar panels float on top of a water storage pond in Sayreville, New Jersey on April 10, 2023. — AP
An array of solar panels float on top of a water storage pond in Sayreville, New Jersey on April 10, 2023. — AP
Martin Sturla stands on his soybean field during a drought in San Antonio de Areco, Argentina, on March 20, 2023. Sturla says he lost 85 per cent of his harvest of soybean and corn due to the drought. — AP
Martin Sturla stands on his soybean field during a drought in San Antonio de Areco, Argentina, on March 20, 2023. Sturla says he lost 85 per cent of his harvest of soybean and corn due to the drought. — AP
Two surfers wade through water in Huntington Beach, California, on April 17, 2023. — AP
Two surfers wade through water in Huntington Beach, California, on April 17, 2023. — AP

More news from World