People are using the viral '10-year challenge' as a stark warning about what's happening to our planet
A set of photos shows the difference between the ice on Switzerland's Rhone Glacier between September 2018 (top) and September 2009 (bottom).
- Social media feeds are currently filled with "10-year challenge" posts that juxtapose users' photos from 2009 and 2019.
- Environmental activists are using the trend to draw attention to how much Earth has changed in the last 10 years, posting side-by-side images of our planet's recent transformation.
- This year has started off with a slew of depressing news about climate change: Last year was the hottest year on record for the world's oceans (which are also warming up faster than we thought), and Antarctic ice is melting faster than it used to.
Not only did 2018 turn out to be the oceans' warmest year on record, but scientists realized that oceans are also heating up 40% faster than they'd previously thought. What's more, research has revealed that the Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting nearly six times faster than it was in 1980s.
So when a viral photo challenge emerged in which users juxtapose pictures of themselves from 2009 and today, some environmentalists seized on the opportunity to highlight Earth's own "10-year challenge."
Sites like Reddit and
Many of the 10-year comparison photos show melting glaciers - one of the most visually dramatic effects of a warming planet.
Melting glaciers mean the North and South Poles are slowly getting make-overs (and not the good kind). In a worst-case scenario, called a "pulse," warmer water could cause the glaciers holding back Antarctica and Greenland's ice sheets to collapse. That would send massive quantities of ice into the oceans, potentially leading to rapid sea-level rise around the world.
If a pulse were to happen, the sea level in South
It's one thing to talk about these threats in the abstract. But it's a different ballgame when we see visual proof.
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