People have been using the 10 Year Challenge to raise awareness about the most serious changes which have taken place over the last decade; those to our planet.
While hoards of people have been busy showing off how puberty, haircuts and general glow-ups helped improve their looks over the last decade, environmental activists have been sharing comparison photos with a much bigger impact.
Many members of the general public, as well as environmentalist organisations, have taken to social media to highlight the changes global warming and deforestation are having on the Earth.
Greenpeace shared two pictures of the Arctic, showing the staggering difference in the landscape 100 years ago versus a more recent image. While in the past mountains were barely visible behind huge ice formations, now the ice has melted away, leaving the mountains in full view.
The caption to the post read:
This is the truth about the #10YearChallenge.
According to Business Insider, we entered the new year with two worrying statistics under our belts. Not only was 2018 the warmest year on record for the oceans, but scientists also realised oceans are heating up 40 per cent faster than they’d previously thought.
On top of those disappointing revelations, it was also revealed the Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting nearly six times faster than it was in 1980s.
Many of the more environment-focused 10 Year Challenge photos centred on rapidly melting ice, such as these images of the retreating Rhône Glacier in Switzerland:
The real #10yearchallenge? Climate change. According to @IPCC_CH #SR15, we have just over 10 years to #ActOnClimate before we cause irreparable damage to our planet. Take our free course on #ClimateAction and become a part of the solution. Enroll now! https://t.co/puzQgIiUoQ pic.twitter.com/Ujz7kEAnoH
— The SDG Academy (@SDG_Academy) January 14, 2019
According to NASA, Antarctica is losing roughly 127 gigatonnes of ice mass every year, while Greenland loses around 286 gigatonnes.
The huge loses are largely down to rising global temperatures being absorbed by oceans. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen by about 0.9C since the late 19th century, and 17 of the 18 warmest years in the 136-year record all have occurred since 2001, the organisation reports.
As shocking as the facts are, being able to compare the changes over time with images really drives the point home.
Take a look at some more devastating changes to the earth below:
The only ten year challenge we should actually be posting and paying attention to. pic.twitter.com/jLMihtYZQo
— Jamell Anderson (@Jamell_A) January 16, 2019
#TenYearChallenge in climate change.
Trift Glacier, from 2006 to 2015 below.
The next ten year challenge is to stop this and avert global climate disaster. We can do this. pic.twitter.com/sHWhixrqfC
— Beam Project (@Beam_Proj) January 17, 2019
While many people focused on raising awareness about decreasing amounts of ice, others shared photos showing the impacts of deforestation and pollution:
— k. (@Kashuliciouss) January 18, 2019
Speaking at the UN climate change summit in December, UN secretary general António Guterres spoke about the rapid effects of climate change and how action must be taken as soon as possible.
As reported in The Guardian, he said:
Climate change is running faster than we are and we must catch up sooner rather than later before it is too late.
For many, people, regions and even countries this is already a matter of life or death. We have a collective responsibility to invest in averting global climate chaos.
Climate action offers a compelling path to transform our world for the better. Governments and investors need to bet on the green economy, not the grey.
Whether people take notice from the pictures, the statistics or the encouragement of officials, it is important we recognise the effects we are having on the Earth, and take whatever steps are necessary to slow our negative impacts.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.