• Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

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Earth’s vital rivers captured in stunning drone and satellite images

DRAMATIC, powerful and entrancing, these images give a bird’s-eye view of one of humanity’s most valuable resources. They are taken from River, a new nature documentary directed by Jennifer Peedom. The movie includes drone footage and draws on modern filming techniques, such as the use of satellites, to capture the scale and intricacy of rivers in 39 countries across six continents.

New Scientist Default Image

Glacial outflows in Iceland

Chris Burkard

Though rivers make up only about 1 per cent of the world’s surface freshwater, they are critical sources of drinking water and food for countless people. Rivers are also biodiverse ecosystems that play vital roles in distributing nutrients and draining surface water. Yet they are increasingly at risk from pollution, damming and biodiversity loss, making the need to protect them all the more urgent.

A Cucap??s (person of the river) fishing boat sits abandoned in delta mudflats where ancestral fishing once supported 20,000 Native Americans. Now, 1,500 Kwapa (Cucap? and Cocopah) on either side of the border depend on casinos, farming, and odd jobs for employment. Fishing is now illegal in the protected ocean water of the Upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta Biosphere Reserve, but many test their luck with the law.

An abandoned fishing boat sitting in the mudflats of the Colorado river delta, an area under threat from drought and climate change

Peter McBride

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The images show: North America’s Susquehanna river as it cuts through agricultural land in Pennsylvania, taken from the International Space Station; glacial outflows in Iceland captured by photographer Chris Burkard; an abandoned fishing boat sitting in the mudflats of the Colorado river delta, an area under threat from drought and climate change; and, finally, a double meander of the Colorado river in Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

???The Loop??? is located six miles above the Green River confluence in Canyonlands National Park, 50 miles downstream of Moab, Utah. The river follows an anticline atop 300-million-year-old salt beds buckling against the weight of more recent rock sediments. In 1964, President Johnson created Canyonlands National Park, as uranium prices fell and allowed him to work around numerous mining claims in the area.

A double meander of the Colorado river in Canyonlands National Park, Uta

Peter McBride

New Scientist Default Image

North America’s Susquehanna river

NASA

River is screening in selected cinemas and available to watch on demand at river.film.

New Scientist video
Watch a clip from River and many other videos at youtube.com/newscientist

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