We’ve heard stories about the decimation of forests the size of small countries in the Amazon, the collapse of glaciers in the Arctic and coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. We are entering the age of the Anthropocene, where our presence as a human species is becoming geologically traceable across the globe.

Until now we haven’t been able to visualize these changes on a planetary scale. For the first time in history, the combination of satellite technology and super-computing is giving us a global perspective to understand how humanity is affecting the environment. Earth time-lapse technology allows you to navigate to any location around the globe and see changes to the planet over the last three decades.

Explore five stories with leading experts from our Annual Meeting in Davos who discuss these developments and what can be done to remedy large-scale disruption around the globe.

The Climate Crisis

Explore how man-made greenhouse gas emissions are leading to a rise in air and water temperatures. See the causes and consequences of climate change over the last three decades. Learn about how climate risks are changing business as usual and what can be done to avoid devastating consequences.

Explore climate change on a planetary scale with:

  • Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • Noami Oreskes, Harvard Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary, Sciences

The War on Water

Fresh water is the life-blood of the planet and a pre-requisite for sustainable development and economic prosperity. Investigate how unsustainable water usage and climate change is threatening the precious water resources we depend on to survive.

Explore these changes with:

  • Johan Röckstrom, Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre
  • Randy Sargent, Senior Systems Scientist at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute

The Race for Resources

Our economic system is built on the premise of taking natural resources, making goods and creating waste. However the Earth’s resources like oil, gas and minerals are finite. Explore options to create circular systems by redesigning industrial processes to eliminate waste and restore the world’s resources indefinitely.

Explore unsustainable resource use with:

  • Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
  • Randy Sargent, Senior Systems Scientist at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute

The Future of Forests

As the world’s population grows, the use of land for economic activity is putting stress on forest ecosystems. Explore forest loss from Brazil to Central Africa and Indonesia and understand how planetary scale satellite images are helping policy makers to improve regulations and better enforce existing legislation.

Explore changes in forest cover with:

  • Matthew Hansen, Remote Sensing Scientist and Professor at the University of Maryland
  • Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute (WRI)

The Industrialization Impasse

Industrialization has occurred on an unprecedented scale in the last three decades, particularly in the developing world. Investigate how a lack of city planning and urban sprawl leads to encroachment on fragile environmental ecosystems. Discover how policy makes or breaks the balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Explore these changes with:

  • Ricardo Hausmann, Director of the Center for International Development at Harvard University
  • Illah Nourbakhsh, Professor of Robotics at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute

Data in these videos are provided courtesy of the Berkeley Earth Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Google Earth Engine, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, University of Maryland, USGS and the World Economic Forum.