climate week

‘Climate Clock' in Union Square Counts Down to Deadline for Action

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A giant clock in New York City used to tell the time, but now it will tell you how much time the world has left to stop the devastating damage of climate change.

In honor of Climate Week, a coalition of scientists and activists reset the digital clock with red numbers seen on the side of a building in Union Square and changed it into a "ClimateClock." The numbers now count down the years, days, hours, minutes and seconds the Earth has left to take action to stop global warming from going over 1.5°C more than the pre-industrial levels.

According to the organization, who aims to put the countdown clock in cities across the world, the clock's calculation is based on the world's current rates of emissions and the amount of CO2 that can still be released into the atmosphere. The clock simply counts down to when the "carbon budget" runs out. If the world manages to lower its emissions, more time will be left on the clock.

The climate crisis is taking center stage on the presidential campaign trail as wildfires rage across the west and the Gulf Coast braces for impact from another hurricane.

The clock is based on the carbon clock made by the 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, ClimateClock says.

The artists responsible for putting up the clock in Manhattan told the New York Times in an interview that the display will be up until the end of Climate Week, Sept. 27. Artists Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd also told the paper that they created a mobile Climate Clock for Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg last year before her appearance at the UN Climate Action Summit.

With the backdrop of recent wildfires and hurricanes, which scientists say show how climate change is magnifying the extremes in weather, protests for climate action are expected all over the world on Friday.

Copyright NBC New York
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