12 Ways the World Changed in 2018

Year in Review

It’s not always easy to understand change, especially when your social or spatial perspective is too close or too distant to see the full extent of the situation. Here’s a unique look at twelve memorable 2018 events that impacted our environments, economies, and lives - setting global waves of change into motion.

March for Our Lives, Washington, DC

March for Our Lives was one of the largest youth-led US protests since the Vietnam War era, inspiring over 880 sibling events across the country and around the world, urging for several gun sales, ownership, and possession reforms.

Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii

Following an unexpected earthquake on 3 May, new fissures opened up across the Kilauea shield volcano on Hawaii Island. For 30 days, hazardous gases, molten rock, and lava flowed heavily - captured here with our shortwave infrared (SWIR) sensors, which picked up the light reflectance of the eruption’s various heat signatures.

Genoa Bridge Collapse, Italy

On 14 August, the busy motorway bridge carrying traffic in and out of Genoa collapsed, leaving 43 dead. Speculation suggests the bridge management company knew about the dangerous corrosion but did not act. Three months later, Shipbuilder Fincantieri and the Salini Impregilo engineering and construction group presented plans to build a new bridge. Stay tuned.

Burning Man, Nevada, USA

A 32-year old counterculture celebration, Burning Man has grown from a beach party in San Francisco to a pop-up desert city of 70,000.

Vostok 2018, Russia

Abstract painting or military exercise? Those pops of white are actually parachutes, which you can see deploying from an aircraft on the left, carrying large-scale equipment. This is just a snapshot of Russia’s largest military exercise in decades, which took place 11-17 September across Siberia and the country's Far East.

Earthquake-Tsunami Disaster, Indonesia

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province on 28 Sept. 2018, triggering a tsunami and landslides that caused widespread destruction and liquefaction. Over 2,000 people perished, approximately 4,400 injured, and 1.5 million affected. A devastating crisis, 170 organizations (and counting) have mobilized resources and aid across 63 impacted areas to support recovery.

Hurricane Michael, United States

The thirteenth named storm, seventh hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Michael was the third-most destructive hurricane to make landfall in the southeastern United States with winds of 155 mph and a minimum pressure of 919 mbar.

Camp Fire, California, USA

Claiming nearly three times as many lives as any other wildfire in California history, the devastating Camp Fire burned over 150,000 acres across Paradise, CA, and took 17 days to contain. On its second day, the blaze grew approximately 10,000 acres in about 90 minutes – about a football field every second. Shortwave infrared (SWIR) images like this one help first responders see through smoke and ash to monitor heat signatures and fire intensity.

Migrant Settlements, Tijuana, Mexico

After days of heavy rain, the original sportsplex shelter housing the massive caravan of migrants was flooded with sewage and debris. Settling into a new shelter of tents at El Barretal, families still await US asylum.

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