Every day we hear about the destruction that we, as a species, do to our planet. The pockets of wilderness that still exist on our planet are becoming smaller and smaller, and as they continue to shrink it can be easy to become increasingly cynical and hopeless about our chances of protecting it.
However, every now and again a set of images are produced that remind us of the intricate beauty of nature and that it is worth conserving. The U.S. Geological Society has recently released a set of images that do exactly that.
The pictures were originally taken to show the changes that happen to our planet over time, but when the team starting taking them, they adapted their motives. Rather than mapping changes, they simply took images that highlighted the complex beauty of Earth from the air.
The full list of images can be seen here. However, we picked our favourite four that show that our planet is worth fighting for.
The yellow of the dunes is a beautiful juxtaposition with the red that indicates forest fires that had scorched the grass and forest at the time the picture was taken.
The mix of colours in the rest of the image are different forms of geological formations.
Taken over a desolate area of the Sahara Desert, the striking colours of the sand dunes and sandstone formations are the only features in a landscape that don’t hold a drop of water.
Amazingly the vast swathes of green swirls in the image are actually the enormous numbers of phytoplankton that live in the surface waters in the summer.
The Bering Sea, which is bordered by Alaska on its west coast and Russia on the east, is a significant marine habitat, and this image shows it in its resplendent glory.
The exquisite detail of the Chinese fault lines in this picture show the beauty that the world’s tectonic forces can produce.
Using a clever technique, the team of geologists were able to take an image that shows the different layers of rock. The mix of colors is an indication that the rocks formed at different times.
The full set of 37 images is a stunning collection that has the power to rekindle the spirits of any pessimist or convert the least environmentally aware individual to the conservation cause.
The photographs are a stark reminder to all of us about the precious beauty of the wild spaces of our planet.