Spirals, cracks and bursting colours; our planet really does paint the perfect picture from space. Images from the new program Earth from Space showcase the stunning beauty of our planet, but also highlight how fast it is changing.
The documentary series aims to widen people’s vision of how they see the world, seen from above rather than down below, showing the world as a co-operative ecosystem.
From frosted continents to desert dustbowls that lead out into the cracks of beautiful deltas, the world from above paints a vastly different picture than the one we see everyday.
One of patterns and structure, and as nature and humans interacts, scientists can observe with far more clarity, the wider effects of our changing planet.
It may seem a shock not to hear the familiar humming of Sir David on this series, but it is a stunner nonetheless.
“From high in space, we can see the familiar shapes of countries and continents. But now, satellite images allow us to look closer. Revealing our planet as a patchwork of extraordinary landscapes, created by natural forces, by animals, and by us.
These patterns give an insight into the health of our planet. Behind every line and every pattern, there’s a story” – BBC Earth From Space
Snow covers the length of the UK, apart from a small patch along the southern coast in this unique shot.
The pictures shot from space allow for the eye to see just how nature changes from water to land, from hot to cold, coastline to inland; they provide an incredible snapshot of our planet.
Shown above, the Albert River Delta in Queensland, Australia weaves through the scorched earth synonymous with the land down under.
Another key aspect from Earth From Space is to show the bigger picture of global climate change, and a massive factor in this is our changing use of land.
Cutting down trees and replacing them with large farms has contributed hugely to the increases in C02 in our atmosphere, particularly when the land is used for pastoral farming.
In the shot above we see how land is divided up by farmers in Bolivia to use for farming, with almost mathematical precision.
Here we see a blue South America, glowing from all the lights and activity. You’ll be amazed to know that the large glowing patch in the Atlantic Ocean by the Falkland Islands are in fact a huge fleet of fishing boats!
Similar sizes to the major towns across the continent, it gives you in idea of the sheer scale of this fleet, feeding the world’s demand.
Aurora Borealis, nature’s infamous light show, glowing over Greenland with red hues rising out of it, only visible from space.
It’s thanks to gravity that all the water isn’t spilling out of the visible Black and Caspian Seas in this shot; observing the world on a slant really emphasises the physics behind our planet!
Venice sits isolated, surrounded by a mass of blue with the thousands of houses rammed in and little canals running through the small patch of land.
This stunning shot with intriguing colours depicts the Yukon Delta in Alaska, with thousands of rivers spilling a yellowey, beigy mass into the Bering Sea.
Rivers wind and wiggle through the dense biodiverse jungle that is the Peruvian Amazonia. The Amazon takes up 60% of Peru, and if it was it’s own country, it would be the 9th largest in the world.
But the Amazon is rapidly vanishing, taking huge amounts of life with it. Habitat destruction wipes out species, as disrupts the fragile ecosystem in place. Twenty percent of the Amazon has already been chopped down, and it continues to vanish by 20,000 square miles a year.
In the scorching dust bowl of Arizona lies the largest aircraft storage facility in the world, the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Due to the low humidity, limited rainfall and high altitude, over 4,000 aircraft are naturally preserved here.
A new collection of emperor penguins was spotted from space; thanks to the waste they left behind!
A stunning sight from space; satellites observe billions of phytoplankton blooming in the crisp waters of the Barents Sea, squeezed between Norway and Russia.
Observation of our planet from space can help with much more immediate issues, such as the one depicted in the picture above.
They helped to accurately locate and monitor the wildfires that raged through California and Europe last summer, allowing firefighters to effectively battle the flames.
Boats ping in and out of Singapore Harbour, bathing in sunshine, with clouds casting little shadows over the sea.
Like a snake, the Green River carves a 300m deep canyon through the Utah Desert.
The aerial beauty of the phytoplankton is observed again, with the huge spirals and swirls collecting together to create a natural painting that Van Gogh would be proud of.