Lewis Pugh is a climate activist known for swimming in arctic waters to raise awareness for climate change. On January 23, he swam in eastern Antarctica in only goggles, swim briefs and a cap. His swim took him through melting ice tunnels and under the ice sheet.

His January 23 swim made him the first person to swim in a lake that has formed on top of a glacier because of melting ice. This is called a superglacial lake. A recent study found that 65,000 superglacial lakes have formed on East Antarctica’s ice sheet thanks to global warming.

Pugh spoke to CNN about his swim, “(The swim) was terrifying for a number of reasons. First, the water is so cold for a swimmer. It was 0 degrees centigrade, just above freezing. But also, it illustrates very very graphically what is happening in East Antarctica. I’m saying to world leaders please, come to Glasgow, come there with a lot of ambition. Step up, or step aside, because we simply don’t have any more time on our hands.”

See footage of the swim:

Glasgow is the site of upcoming climate negotiations. Pugh is also working to convince Russia and China to sign on to protect an area of East Antarctica from overfishing. He said, “We’ve got to move away from the talking, and now start taking the action. We were positively received and I’m quietly hopeful that at the end of the year when we come to the negotiations to try and create this protected area in this region, I’m quietly confident that Russia will now agree (to) this deal.”

The United Nation recently released a report warning countries about the dangers of climate change. They also urged people to reduce their dairy and meat intake by opting for more plant-based foods as one way to take climate action. We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App – with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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