A pair of satellite images acquired almost 50 years apart reveals striking changes to the glaciers and ice caps in northwest Greenland. A pair of satellite images acquired almost 50 years apart reveals striking changes to the glaciers and ice caps in northwest Greenland. Few other satellite comparisons span this much time, especially in such vivid lifelike color.
Observations of Earth from space are now common. But prior to the 1970s, no Earth-observing satellites had been launched with the specific intent of monitoring our planet’s land areas. That changed with the launch of Landsat 1 in 1972. The Landsat mission continues onward through today, with the launch of Landsat 9 in September 2021.
This image pair spans the Landsat era so far, revealing changes across a peninsula north of Thule Air Base (Pituffik). The Multispectral Scanner System (MSS) on Landsat 1 acquired the first image (left) on September 3, 1973. The second image (right), acquired on August 20, 2022, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8, shows the same area 49 years later. Read More at: NASA Earth Observatory https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/150267/a-half-century-of-loss-in-northwest-greenland