Think of this image as a love letter – from planet Earth. Just in time for Valentine's Day, this sweet new universe "Island Love" shows the heart-shaped island of Moorea in French Polynesia. But the picture is also a symbol of climate change, says the European Space Agency.
"Moorea is part of an island chain formed by hot-spot volcanism, which means that volcanoes are created by" solid "hot areas in the mantle," ESA officials said in a statement accompanying the picture from the satellite Copernicus Sentinel-2. ESA further stated that plate tectonics – the movement of the earth's surface over time – pushes the plate away from the hotspot. This process is gradually moving the hotspot volcanoes to a new location, while new volcanoes are forming at the hotspot.
"These types of islands are constantly changing, eroding and sinking back into the ocean over millions of years," ESA added. "But changes are happening much faster, as human activities are affecting the natural landscape and climate change."
While you think the picture is red for Valentine's Day only, the ESA said the image processing turns the vegetation red and shows that Moorea is home to a lush ecosystem. Humans have inhabited this island for 1
Another sensitive part of Moorea is right around the island. The coral reef in this area seems untouched at first, according to the ESA. However, like all coral reefs, there is a danger of marine plastics, fisheries and pesticide effluents from agriculture. In general, coral reefs around the world are largely dying from rising temperatures associated with acidification of the ocean and injuring or killing the corals themselves.
ESA officials said satellites like Sentinel-2 use images like these to remind scientists and the public how fragile the Earth is. The satellite is also part of a network of sentinels that send information about climate change and the response of local ecosystems to this change to Earth. That's how we learn how to love the earth better.
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