If the glaciers vanish, so will we.
All around the globe, glacier volume is shrinking significantly – even more so over recent years. If the glaciers melt, there will be extensive consequences for the environment: Complete meltdown would bring sea level rise to a record high and eliminate 69% of the world’s drinking water. Although not every country may have a glacier, every country depends on their survival.
Meltdown Flags is a climate data initiative that visualizes the effects of global glacier retreat by reducing the amount of white in the flags of countries with glaciers. Three developed cuts visualize this accelerated melt process: Starting from 1995, the year of the first United Nations Climate Change Conference, to 2050, the year set out by the UN to reach net-zero emissions and limit global temperature to 1.5 °C.
The goal of this project is to educate about the importance of glaciers, provide solutions to reduce emissions and put pressure on politicians to deal with the climate crisis. Meltdown Flags is an open source climate data project initiated by environmental technology company METER. Data sources include METER, UNESCO, NASA, World Glacier Monitoring System (WGMS), United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), the University of Zurich and the University of Innsbruck.
Handsewn flags take the message to the streets. In December 2019, Meltdown Flags made their first appearance at the COP25 in Madrid. Since then, they have become a symbol of protest at climate demonstrations and events around the world.
“With our technology, we have been supporting environmental scientists for decades in documenting and researching the impact of climate change. We know first-hand about the frustration that even when you have data that clearly proves it, it’s hard to bring your findings to public attention.
With the Meltdown Flags, we hope to raise awareness for the importance of environmental science and inspire people to contribute to protecting the environment. Not because as an environmental technology company, it’s our business. But because as humans, we all depend on it.”
Christian Hertel, VP Marketing, METER Group
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