Vikas Yadav: A climate clock was installed in a Manhattam at the end of 2021 that shows two numbers. The first number in a red in the climate clock refers to a timer that counts down at current rates of emissions, how long it will take to burn through our “carbon budget” — the amount of CO2 that can still be released into the atmosphere while limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Only this much time we have left to take decisive action to keep warming under the 1.5°C threshold. We can assume it to be our deadline.
The numbers on the clock showed that we have seven years and 102 days to take urgent action- showing the ever-decreasing time window to change our energy systems and economy significantly. The second number, green in climate clock, is tracking the growing % of the world’s energy currently supplied from renewable sources. We can take this as our lifeline. Simply put, we need to get our lifeline to 100% before our deadline reaches 0.
Climate activists named Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd installed this project for Climate Week. The “Climate Clock” counts the time left to curb greenhouse gas emissions enough to give Earth a 67% chance of keeping the world under 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. According to the website accompanying the clock, a team of artists, makers, scientists, and activists, assembled the climate clock and is part of the Beautiful Trouble community of projects. The app includes more details about solutions. An interactive tool shows how we can flatten the curve.
The reason and science behind this Climate clock.
Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) which uses data from the recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, gave a methodology of carbon clock followed by this climate clock. According to the IPCC report starting from 2018, a carbon dioxide budget of 420 Gt of CO2 gives us a 67% chance to stay under 1.5°C of warming. The carbon budget concept is based on a nearly linear relationship between cumulative emissions and temperature rise.
“Earth has a deadline,” the LED screen flickers every few minutes and displays the time we have left to save the planet. This climate clock in New York is intended to be the first of many in major cities worldwide, helping government and citizens “synchronize our watches” around a shared global timeline to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Lastly, Andrew Boyd, co-founder of the project, “The clock is a way to speak science to power. This clock indicates that we must reduce our emissions as much as we can as fast as we can. The technology is there. We can do this- and in the process, create a healthier, more just world for all of us. We have a deadline. But we can turn it into our lifeline.”
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