Home Emergency Management News New York City’s Latest Attraction: A Climate Clock That Counts Down To Doomsday
New York City’s Latest Attraction: A Climate Clock That Counts Down To Doomsday

New York City’s Latest Attraction: A Climate Clock That Counts Down To Doomsday

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“Earth has a deadline,” the LED screen flashes every few minutes. As of today, September 25, that deadline is about seven years and 97 days.

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As if the Covid-19 pandemic wasn’t giving New Yorkers enough anxiety, a new temporary installation on a prominent Manhattan building reminds the world that that another massive crisis is nipping at our heels.

The iconic Metronome digital clock sprawled across a 14th Street building facing Union Square normally counts time to and from midnight down to the fractions of a second, like a never-ending hourglass.

But last weekend, the public installation was transformed into a “Climate Clock” that broadcasts the time remaining to avert an all-out climate catastrophe.

Installed by project co-founders Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd for Climate Week, the “Climate Clock” counts down the years, days, hours, minutes, and seconds left to curb greenhouse gas emissions enough to give Earth a 67% chance of keeping the world under 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.

Limiting global warming to 1.5° C is crucial, say scientists, if we are to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change, including unsustainable rising sea levels, flooding, loss of coral reefs, wildfires and other disasters.

The deadline is based on data from the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), creator of the “Carbon Clock.”

Despite the urgent message, the clock’s creators say the planet’s current trajectory is not unstoppable. The clock shows two numbers. The red number is the deadline to take decisive action to keep warming under the 1.5° C threshold. A second number, in green, tracks the growing percentage of the world’s energy currently supplied from renewable sources. The goal is to increase that percentage to 100% before the countdown clock reaches zero.

If you want to see the Climate Clock in New York’s Union Square, this weekend is your last chance. The installation will run only through the end of Climate Week on Sunday, September 27.

Look for similar countdowns to pop up around the world. The artists installed a similar clock in Berlin last year and plan to set up another clock in Paris next year. Golan and Boyd are in talks with other cities to erect their own climate clocks and even provide instructions on how to make your own.

This article was written by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher from Forbes and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.