These stunning images from Google show you how climate change is affecting the world

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climate change

Stefan Hendricks, Alfred Wegener Institute

This week, the United Nations Climate Summit, COP21, takes place in Paris, France, bringing together leaders from nearly 200 countries to try to reach an agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and stop global temperatures from continuing to rise.

To mark the occasion, Google published a blog post explaining how people can use Street View in Maps to explore the causes and impact of climate change. 

Polar Bears International partnered with Street View to map polar bears, to see how they're affected by changes in their fragile habitats. Here's a polar bear waiting for the sea to freeze, on the edge of Hudson Bay:

Polar Bears International partnered with Street View to map polar bears, to see how they're affected by changes in their fragile habitats. Here's a polar bear waiting for the sea to freeze, on the edge of Hudson Bay:

Learn more here.

The number of blue oak trees in California has been declining due to stress from changing temperatures. To help track changes, the state's Nature Conservancy captured Street View imagery in Central California that it will compare to new imagery in several years.

The number of blue oak trees in California has been declining due to stress from changing temperatures. To help track changes, the state's Nature Conservancy captured Street View imagery in Central California that it will compare to new imagery in several years.

Learn more here.

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Google Earth Outreach has worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to map methane leaks across the US using Street View cars with methane analyzers on board.

Google Earth Outreach has worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to map methane leaks across the US using Street View cars with methane analyzers on board.

Boston: Older pipes, more leaks

Indianapolis: Newer pipes, fewer leaks

Methane

Google Earth Engine provides global-scale data mining. Using Landsat satellite imagery from 1984 to 2012, the team was able to create half a dozen incredible time-lapse maps that show areas of particularly dynamic change.

Google Earth Engine provides global-scale data mining. Using Landsat satellite imagery from 1984 to 2012, the team was able to create half a dozen incredible time-lapse maps that show areas of particularly dynamic change.

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As the dark green on this map disappears, you get a startling view of the rate of deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest:

As the dark green on this map disappears, you get a startling view of the rate of deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest:

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You can watch the Columbia Glacier in Alaska melt away. It began its rapid retreat in the 1980s, likely triggered by climate fluctuations.

You can watch the Columbia Glacier in Alaska melt away. It began its rapid retreat in the 1980s, likely triggered by climate fluctuations.

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Only 5% of the water that used to fill Lake Urmia in Iran remains, due to a combination of global warming, irrigation practices, and the depletion of groundwater supplies. The country now faces an extreme water shortage:

Only 5% of the water that used to fill Lake Urmia in Iran remains, due to a combination of global warming, irrigation practices, and the depletion of groundwater supplies. The country now faces an extreme water shortage:

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This map shows coal mining in Wyoming," Google Earth Engine's Rebecca Moore previously told Business Insider. "It’s ripping up the landscape. Isn’t it insane? It’s like Pac-Man.

This map shows coal mining in Wyoming," Google Earth Engine's Rebecca Moore previously told Business Insider. "It’s ripping up the landscape. Isn’t it insane? It’s like Pac-Man.

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