Come hell or high water: visualising climate

Tomorrow evening at dusk Chris Bodle’s Watermarks Project comes to life in Bristol city centre. The artwork takes the conjectures about the effect of global warming on sea level rise and projects them onto various buildings around the city.

He’s not the first to create something along these lines. In New York, Eve S. Mosher has long been wandering streets drawing lines in chalk across buildings and road, marking future tidelines. She’s one of the artists involved in the Canary Project, set up by artists and photographers to promote work that helps people see climate change looks like.

What’s nice about Bodle’s project is that it has absorbed the uncertainty of the effects of climate change. Though science is broadly in agreement about the fact of man-made global warming (despite Christopher Brooker‘s best efforts to suggest otherwise), how much and how quickly levels are going to ascend is the subject of much debate. The Watermarks Project turns the varying projections into, well, projections. Pictured above is a visualisation of where sea levels would be in the worst-case-scenario of the total Greenland icecap melt; the speed of that melt and the mechanism by which the ice is projected to disappear is one of the most hotly debated issues in climate change. Details of Bodle’s exhibition are here.

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