These '10 Year Challenge' Climate Change Photos Are Absolutely Haunting

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
Image via Twitter/MesutOzil1088

These before and after photos proving climate change is definitely happening are devastating

The “10 year challenge” has been sweeping social media with people posting pics of themselves in 2009 versus 2019. The results have been everything from adorable to hysterical, but a new set of pictures are popping up to show a more somber side to what can happen in a decade — the terrifyingly rapid changes in our environment.

Environmental activists and scientists are using the challenge to highlight a very real concern — the dramatic changes to our planet. If you read the news, it’s no surprise to hear, but seeing the images side-by-side puts another, more depressing lens on the issue.

The World Economic Forum puts out a yearly list of the biggest threats to our planet and for the past three years running, “extreme weather” caused by climate change has been listed at the top of the list. “Our survey respondents are increasingly worried about environmental policy failure,” the report said.

According to Business Insider, 2018 was the hottest year on record for the world’s oceans (and are heating up 40 percent faster than previously thought), sea levels are rising, coral reefs (and the ecosystems they support) are being wiped out, and Antarctic ice is melting at a faster rate than in previous years (six times faster than in the 1980s). Glaciologists think half of Switzerland’s small glaciers will be eradicated within the next 25 years, according to Reuters.

Many of the photos showed the melting glaciers, one of the more predominant images of just how much global warming has impacted the North and South Poles. “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,” Business Insider reported.

This photo shows just how much deforestation and logging have impacted forests in South America.

The posts are trying to bring greater public awareness to what is happening to our planet, and how much worse it could get if we don’t pay attention to how our actions affect our world.

The pictures don’t tell the whole story. They don’t show what is happening to the wildlife that relies on these places as their homes. Puffins are in a rapid state of decline and have a real chance of extinction. Climate change has altered the way bears hibernate for winter. It’s also one of the leading reasons malnutrition rates are rising in the Pacific, representing the “single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security, and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific.”

Despite much urging, Trump still doesn’t believe these changes are real. “One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers,” Trump said during an Oval Office interview with The Washington Post. “As to whether or not it’s man-made and whether or not the effects that you’re talking about are there, I don’t see it,” he said.

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