Europe

Shrinking Swiss glacier hosts world's largest postcard

An aerial view shows a massive collage of drawings about climate change rolled out on the Aletsch Glacier in the Swiss Alps Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Organisers set the challenge to raise awareness of climate change
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The snow-capped majesty of the Swiss Alps has dazzled many a tourist. And on Friday, the region played host to the planet's largest postcard.

Laid out on the shrinking Aletsch Glacier, this huge mosaic is actually made from 125,000 drawings and messages about climate change.

They measure 2,500 sq m (26,910 sq ft), and were created by children from all over the world.

"WE ARE THE FUTURE GIVE US A CHANCE," urged one poster, standing out against the snow.

Seen from above, the whole picture read: "STOP GLOBAL WARMING #1.5 DEGREES C" - echoing scientists' calls to limit the rise in Earth's temperature.

The high-altitude showcase was organised by the WAVE foundation, a non-profit group focused on conservation, and Switzerland's development agency.

According to WAVE, the event set a new Guinness World Record for the most postcards tied into a single image - smashing the existing 16,000 card record.

A close-up of the postcard shows its smaller component pictures, drawn by thousands of children, tied together with black string Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The thousands of posters were tied together to form a bigger whole
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The postcard, seen from above on the snow, reads: "#1.5C - Stop global warming". People walking underneath it look tiny by comparison, emphasising the scale. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The picture's scale was striking from above
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Organisers chose the Aletsch Glacier to raise awareness, because it is melting at alarming speed.

Glaciology experts from the University of Zurich have warned that the great ice expanse, the largest in western Europe at 23km (14.3 miles), could disappear altogether by 2100.

A zoomed-out aerial view shows the giant postcard on the Aletsch Glacier, with an expanse of snow all around it and the peaks rising behind Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The Aletsch Glacier is visible from space, but is shrinking by up to 12m a year.
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