The 22nd April is our planet’s birthday. We celebrate Earth Day. If you are on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, you might know the #10YearChallenge. People post pictures which show the same person/place now and 10 years ago. Sometimes the photos are very sad because they show how our planet has changed for the worse1. So, what has really changed in the last decade2?

Weather and Climate
The Earth is getting warmer, and the weather is getting more extreme. There are more natural disasters3, terrible fires, storms and hurricanes. Many areas are getting very dry. 2010-2020 was the hottest decade documented in human history. July 2019 was the hottest month ever documented. Deadly heat waves4 killed hundreds in Western Europe. There were terrible fires in Australia in winter.
Arctic regions have lost a lot of ice, Greenland has lost its first glacier5. Ships use new routes in the Arctic Sea that they could never use before. Coral reefs are dying and many animal species have become extinct.

Plastic Pollution
In 2018 people realized that plastic is a huge problem. Ten million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every year. Plastic is everywhere – in the water, in the soil, in animals, and in our food. Experts believe there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.

Positive Changes
It sounds very bad. But there is still hope. Greta Thunberg and other activists have started a real eco revolution. Millions of people have started to fight for ecology. ‘Climate strike’ became the Word of the Year for 2019 in the Collins Dictionary. Young inventors6 are working on technologies that clean the oceans. Fewer people are extremely poor and fewer children die each year in the world. It’s up to us all to help our planet. The race7 to save the Earth (and us) has just begun.

Do you celebrate Earth Day?
How do you participate in Earth Day activities?

1[hæz čeindžd fə ðə wəːs] – zmenilo sa k horšiemu/ změnilo se k horšímu;
2[ˈdekeid] – desaťročie/ desítiletí;
3[ˈnæčərəl diˈzaːstəs] – prírodné pohromy/ přírodní pohromy;
4[ˈdedli ˈhiːtˌweivs] – smrtiace horúčavy/ smrtící vlny veder;
5[ˈɡlæsiə] – ľadovec v horách/ ledovec na horách;
6[inˈventəs] – vynálezcovia/ vynálezci;
7[reis] – preteky/ závody