Deltas are formed by sediments that rivers deposit at their mouths, and they house a tremendous amount of biodiversity. But around two-thirds of the world’s deltas are under threat from human activity. In the U.S., for example, the Mississippi River Delta is losing chunks of land the size of football fields to the sea every hour—with drilling, climate change, and levees built to stop the river from flooding all to blame for this phenomenon.
On the other side of the world, China’s Yellow River Delta has also seen dramatic changes in the last two decades, a new visualization created by Mapbox shows. In this viz (below), satellite images of the region from 1979, 1992, 1995, 2000, and 2015 flow in smooth succession over a timeline, showing the delta transformation over the last 35 or so years: