7 Shocking Google Earth GIFs of Human Impact on Earth

There’s no doubt about it, humans have reshaped the earth more in the last two hundred years than at any other time in our history… and the last 25 years are no different. Now Google has released a new “interactive map experience” which allows users to view archived satellite data over the last quarter century and in doing so they are giving us perhaps the most clear and valuable view of our recent impact on earth. “We believe this is the most comprehensive picture of our changing planet ever made available to the public,” Google said in a statement

Wild Animals Call the Urban Jungle Their Home

Nick Pedersen Migration 2

We covered Nick Pedersen before when he created a wildly verdant, jungle-like vision of the post-apocalyptic future. In those scenes, wild men eked out their existence in cities long ago abandoned by their massive populations – now overgrown by plant life, they were suitable even for hunting. The Philadelphia based artist has now turned his talents toward creating a vision of our current time, yet still with his focus on themes of ecology and the preservation of the environment.

Paolo Soleri, founder of Arcology, dies at 93

Paolo Soleri Arcology 0

Arcology is the term coined by visionary architect Paolo Soleri to mean a fusion of both architecture and ecology. Soleri spent his lifetime investigating how architecture, and specifically the architecture of the city, could support the endless possibilities of human aspiration. He founded Arcosanti in Arizona, an urban laboratory focused on innovative design, community, and environmental accountability. His ideas were vast and envisioned on a grand scale, and throughout his long life he used them to question our familiar ideas about what architecture could be. He passed away April 9 at the age of 93.

Nature vs Man: Cross Section Diagrams of the Future

1 Josh Keyes

Most of us have heard the thought-provoking words by Environmentalist Terri Swearingen, “We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.” Some are moved to make changes; others just shrug thinking “They’ll figure something out.” But what if scientists are right and the polar ice caps do melt and cause the seas to flood the lands? What might the world look like? Oregon based artist Josh Keyes shares his predictions in a unique, textbook diagram style. His paintings show cross section slices through possible future scenes with land animals wading through water next to an octopus, 3 headed tigers, and circus animals roaming the graffitied streets.

A Lush Suspended Field Demonstrates the Cycles of Life

Think of it as a trampoline which grows a verdant carpet of plant life. Floating well above the floor a net of fabric springs to life in the form of bright green sprouts. The piece allows viewers to interact with the space, climbing up through manhole like openings in the fabric, poking their heads into its green rolling landscape and climbing onto its springy surface.

The Flying Rhinos of South Africa

When the WWF decided to start the seventh installment of their Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, they had a unique challenge transporting the critically endangered animals to their new expanded range. Because of extremely rough terrain between where the animal was captured and paved roads, off-road transportation by truck seemed too dangerous for the precious cargo. Instead, they decided to use a helicopter. Strapping webbing to each of the rhinoceros’ ankles, blindfolding and then tethering them to a hovering helicopter, the sleeping giants were airlifted the relatively short distance to waiting transport trucks for a smooth 1500km trip across the country to their new range. This beautiful film was created by Green Renaissance. Find more information about the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project at wwf.org.za.

Preserve 4% of oceans to save sea mammals

Preserving just 4 percent of the ocean could protect crucial habitat for the vast majority of marine mammal species, according to researchers at Stanford University and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.Of the 129 species of marine mammals on Earth, including seals, dolphins, and polar bears, approximately one-quarter are facing extinction.

Dead smell freaks out pool of lampreys

The scent of their deceased brethren sends sea lampreys into a self-preservation tizzy as their alarm cues go into overdrive in an attempt to escape. The findings could be a game changer in controlling one of the most destructive invasive species in the Great Lakes.

Tundra fires may speed climate change

After a 10,000-year absence, wildfires have returned to the Arctic tundra, and new findings raise concerns the fires could accelerate the release of carbon into the atmosphere. Scientists quantified the amount of soil-bound carbon released into the atmosphere in the 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire, which covered more than 400 square miles on the North Slope of Alaska’s Brooks Range.