Human Interest Google Earth Launches New Time-Lapse Feature That Shows Effects of Climate Change Over 37 Years The new feature allows users to check in on the progress — or destruction — of any place over the last three decades By Rachel DeSantis Rachel DeSantis Instagram Twitter Rachel DeSantis is a writer/reporter covering music at PEOPLE. She has held various roles since joining the brand in 2019, and was previously a member of the human interest team. As a music writer, Rachel interviews everyone from rock-and-roll legends to up-and-coming stars for magazine feature stories and digital news stories. Rachel is based in New York City, and previously worked as an entertainment reporter at the New York Daily News after getting her start as an Entertainment Weekly intern. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. People Editorial Guidelines Published on April 16, 2021 11:14 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Google Earth Thanks to Google Earth's latest project, you no longer need a time machine to travel back to days of yore. Google Earth recently launched Timelapse, a global, interactive video that lets users track changes across the Earth over the past three decades, including the impact of the climate emergency. The wide-ranging project is comprised of more than 24 million satellite photos from the past 37 years, and took more than 2 million processing hours across thousands of machines in Google Cloud, Rebecca Moore, the director of Google Earth, Earth Engine & Outreach, said in a blog post. Most of the images are from Landsat, a joint USGS/NASA Earth observation program that's been watching the planet since 1970, and they were made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab's Time Machine Library. RELATED VIDEO: Greta Thunberg Speaks at the Climate Action Summit in New York "Timelapse in Google Earth is about zooming out to assess the health and well-being of our only home, and is a tool that can educate and inspire action," Moore wrote. "We hope that this perspective of the planet will ground debates, encourage discovery and shift perspectives about some of our most pressing global issues." Take a Google Earth Tour of the Most Beautiful Cherry Blossoms Around the World Users can check out any place on the planet they choose, and watch as it changes over the years. Examples include the area in Rondônia, Brazil, where the Suruí people have made efforts to protect the Amazon rainforest, or the way agriculture is built in the middle of a desert in Al-Jouf, Saudi Arabia. If you zoom in on the Columbia Glacier Retreat in Alaska, you can watch as the glaciers begin to melt over the years due to climate change. To explore Timelapse for yourself, click here. Users can also check out more than 800 Timelapse videos in 2D and 3D here. Moore said the project will be updated annually with new Timelapse imagery over the next decade.