Overview uses satellite and aerial imagery to demonstrate how human activity and natural forces shape our Earth. This perspective provides a powerful look at the planet where we live and the civilization we are creating. Through our Imagery, Shop, and Collaborations we aim to inspire the Overview Effect.

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The Great Barrier Reef is Earth’s largest structure composed of living things, made of more than 2,900 individual reefs stretching roughly 1,400 miles (2,253 kilometers) offshore of Australia. Perhaps there is no better “canary in the coal mine” for nature’s reaction to a warming planet than the recent coral bleaching events at the reef. Ninety-three percent of the increase in global temperatures has been absorbed by the oceans, raising water temperatures and causing ocean acidification. As a reaction to the warmer waters, coral expel the algae living inside their tissues, which give the coral necessary nutrients that provide up to 90 percent of their energy. Corals can continue to live after bleaching, but often they begin to starve soon thereafter. In 2016, a bleaching event killed approximately 30 percent of the Great Barrier Reef ’s coral, and overall, the average time between bleaching events has halved between 1980 and 2016.

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