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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Then & Now

Rephotography is a powerful way to observe changes over time.

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Tuesday, March 19, 2013/Categories: natural history, photography, environment

Rephotography is a powerful way to observe changes in an environment. The approach of recapturing a perspective from the exact same location to compare has often been used to document changes in mountains landscapes over time. Increasingly, rephotography is being applied to studies of Arctic ice, city-scapes, and vegetation cover everywhere. It is also applied using remote sensing cameras circling the earth. The images can be dramatic and beautiful.

In Western Australia, the annual monsoon cyclones move south from the Timor Sea and inland from the Indian Ocean during December thru March. The resulting rains can be torrential that can last for days and weeks. The typically arid landscapes are turned vibrant green in the process. Two 'before & after' satellite  captures clearly show the changes over less than a month along the de Grey River near Port Hedland.

de Grey River, February 2013 (credit: NASA/Australian Bureau of Meteorology)

de Grey River, March 2013  (credit: NASA/Australian Bureau of Meteorology)

Flooded rivers in Australia carry heavy sediment loads of eroded from the interior. They can be seen at the river's delta in deep blue. How climate change will impact monsoonal weather is being analyzed but early indications suggest that the huge storms will become even more intense.


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