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Examining the Potential of Digital Earth Services in Connection to Global Warming


Environmental issues surrounding the subject of the Earth’s condition are a crucial topic of scientific discussion. The numerous problems concerning the changes in natural welfare require grounded interpretation and subsequent search for suitable solutions to maintain our home planet’s state. Over the course of humanity’s existence, the characteristics of our habitat have changed dramatically, impacting such spheres as air quality, wildlife environment, pollution levels, and many others, contributing to the overall effect of global warming (Haustein et al., 2017). In this work, the primary characteristics of global warming will be discussed with the implementation of digital Earth tools, examining the data from these sources, and presenting a critical analysis of their visual component.

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Evaluating the Issue of Global Warming

The problem of global warming is one of the well-recognized difficulties connected to the environmental state of our planet. In recent decades, a tremendous amount of political and scientific attention has been directed to the escalation of the Earth’s temperature in comparison to the previous eras. Such drastic changes in the global warming levels severely impact multiple ecosystems, accounting for various consequent alterations in the land degradation speed, precipitation patterns, and water availability (Koutroulis, 2019). The increasing heating rates are reported to be especially adverse in connection to the ocean wildlife, which can suffer tremendously from marine heatwaves caused by human-induced warming (Frölicher et al., 2018). Several scientific studies review the outcomes produced by global temperature rise, arguing that the ramifications of human-induced warming become more grievous every year (Brown & Caldeira, 2017). Even though numerous political campaigns and additional movements originated in support of the Earth’s climate and utilization of global warming solutions, the situation remains drastic and urgent, necessitating the development of appropriate resolutions.

Overview of Digital Earth Instruments

Controlling the spread of environmental effects caused by the Earth’s overheating is an essential part of battling the consequences of this phenomenon. The digital Earth tools are a crucial method of accounting for the condition of our planet, acting as a visual aid to the researchers. The technological advances allow scholars to survey such events as wildfires, melting ice caps, and agricultural decline, contributing to the understanding of global warming rates and the effectiveness of strategies employed (Anderson et al., 2016). For this study, the data from the following instruments were explored: Google Earth, NASA Earth Observatory, and Climate Impact Lab. These visual sources provide detailed information regarding the changes in the Earth’s temperature, ice and snow accumulation, agricultural characteristics and offer extensive knowledge regarding the spread of wildfires. Each of the platforms mentioned represents an interactive map of the Earth’s surface which includes the information on specific environmental issues and compares the data from previous years to the most recent knowledge available.

In order to ascertain the severity of the temperature impact on the Earth’s environment, it is necessary to observe the differences between the past and current temperature rates. After that, an evaluation of how these changes might be connected to contemporary environmental issues is required. The services of NASA Earth Observatory and Climate Impact Lab provide visual imagery on such distinctions, showing the negative outcomes of human-induced warming. As for the effects of ice and snow accumulation and agricultural capacity, the data from Google Earth and NASA Earth Observatory were exceptionally useful, as they supply an interactive representation of search alterations. Finally, the numbers of wildfires and their expansion rates were assessed using the NASA Earth Observatory services.

Summary of the Visual Components

The amount of visual components and features available in the current age is exceptionally high, contributing to both scientific and educational advances. Due to the accessibility of digital earth platforms, it is effortless to attain relevant information in a visual representation, contributing to the simplicity of use. The visual elements of the services implemented cover a significant range of topics, showing the drastic changes in comparison with previous historical periods. Multiple filters are present, offering a possibility to discover case-specific knowledge. As such, the NASA Earth Observatory system was particularly efficient in uncovering data for all of the global warming effects, as it contains a large number of visual representations based on certain environmental issues. The Google Earth attributes were of remarkable value for this research as well, as they provide a summary of the most crucial changes in the Earth’s condition in an interactive manner.

Summary of Key Findings

The data gathered throughout the examination of the aforementioned services constitutes a number of detrimental transformations that occurred over the course of the 20th century. The most outstanding finding regards the temperature changes worldwide, suggesting that the warming effects were largely caused by industrial improvements and globalization. According to the surface temperature maps created by the NASA Earth Observatory, the temperature of the Earth’s regions has increased significantly during the last 20 years, with land surface temperature anomalies multiplying dramatically by 2021. This observation is corroborated by the data from the Climate Impact Laboratory, which states that global temperatures have increased by at least 1 degree Celsius in the European and American regions. In addition, the surfaces of Antarctica and Greenland heated by 2 degrees since 1850. These alterations might have grievous consequences for the environmental regions of our planet, severely impacting the wildlife.

The issue of human-induced warming is closely connected to the enhanced rates of icecaps melting. As shown in the services of the NASA Earth Observatory, the snow coverage has decreased considerably, with usually colder regions receiving less snow precipitation in recent years. The Google Earth representation of the Columbia glacier retreat further supports this data, showing that ice concentrations are rapidly decreasing in masses, originated by the rise of global temperature.

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The complications surrounding wildfires were also uncovered during this research. According to the NASA Earth Observatory, the numbers of wildfires have increased significantly over the last 20 years, the primary cause being human-induced warming and the use of controlled fires in farming. Even though some fires might originate from natural events, such as lightning strikes, other reasons are linked with global warming effects, with enormous numbers of incidents produced by overheating, water evaporation, and lack of precipitation.

Another vital result of the present study regards the agricultural decline evident in extensive deforestation and crop decrease. The NASA Earth Observatory reveals the lack of green masses and agricultural accumulations throughout the globe, proposing that conglomerations of forests and farms are at tremendous risk of vanishing. In contrast with the 19th century, the numbers of natural and human-grown woodlands have plummeted, suffering from increased temperatures, extreme heat, and lack of precipitation.

Critical Analysis of the Visual Component and Future Implications

The visual imagery supplementing the digital earth data appears to be a crucial part of environmental research. This feature presents the investigators with the opportunity to enhance their projects and attain a simple representation of the effect of global warming (Giorgi et al., 2019). The platforms discussed in this study are highly valuable for this field of scientific examination, providing necessary information without additional charges. Given that multiple filters and comparison options are available on these services, it is possible to overview specific environmental issues, from deforestation to melting icecaps. Nevertheless, it is still imperative to improve these platforms on the subject of agricultural decline, as little information is offered on this topic. In addition, the availability of data is, in some cases, obstructed by lack of statistics, forcing the investigators to implement the data from previous years, which might differ significantly from the period needed.

The growing numbers of interactive platforms directed at investigating the issues of global warming suggest that large numbers of companies and independent developers are invested in contributing to the observation of the Earth’s environment. Subsequent research would greatly benefit from utilizing the visual overviews of Earth, supporting the statistical findings with actual satellite data start to corroborate their validity (Anderson et al., 2016). Future investigations might also focus on creating a single platform that is devised to aid environmental scholars in their studies, addressing the issue of information credibility. Developing a unified model that will address the requirements of digital Earth services would be of tremendous use for future research, contributing to increased simplicity of use. Finally, it would be beneficial to address more case-specific and less recognized issues, for example, the diversity of agricultural complications connected to the lack of water resources.


To conclude, the primary complications connected to the phenomenon of global warming were discussed in detail in this paper. Multiple studies have shown that the issue of the Earth’s temperature elevation is significantly impacting the quality of life of various species and might potentially lead to detrimental consequences. Earth’s digital models have been of incredible assistance to these scholars worldwide, allowing for control and supervision of various changes, namely the number of wildfires, agricultural decline, and the ice cap melting rates. The information provided by multiple Earth observation tools states that the planet’s environmental condition is rapidly deteriorating, requiring future studies and a search for a beneficial resolution.


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Brown, P. T., & Caldeira, K. (2017). Greater future global warming inferred from Earth’s recent energy budget. Nature, 552(7683), 45–50. Web.

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Frölicher, T. L., Fischer, E. M., & Gruber, N. (2018). Marine heatwaves under global warming. Nature, 560(7718), 360–364. Web.

Giorgi, F., Raffaele, F., & Coppola, E. (2019). The response of precipitation characteristics to global warming from climate projections. Earth System Dynamics, 10(1), 73–89. Web.

Haustein, K., Allen, M. R., Forster, P. M., Otto, F. E. L., Mitchell, D. M., Matthews, H. D., & Frame, D. J. (2017). A real-time Global Warming Index. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 1-6. Web.

Koutroulis, A. G. (2019). Dryland changes under different levels of global warming. Science of The Total Environment, 655, 482–511. Web.

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