The device will store a record of climate change for future generations.
According to climate watchdog Climate Action, at the planet’s current geopolitical trajectory, the Earth will eventually reach 2.7 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. As climate researchers have stated that the Earth needs to stay below 1.5 degrees to prevent catastrophe, this paints a worrisome picture for the planet’s future. In an effort to either encourage the world to work harder toward ending the climate crisis or, failing that, educating future societies about what went wrong, researchers are developing a device that will begin keeping track of everything that has transpired.
The University of Tasmania, in conjunction with several other groups, have begun construction on a massive “black box” device designed to keep permanent records of all current and future developments in the ongoing climate crisis. The device, which will be completed some time next year, will be a polygonal structure roughly the size of a bus, within which will be scores of solar-powered computers monitoring the internet for any reports, research, and social chatter on the subject of climate change. The researchers estimate the device can continuously store data for anywhere from 30 to 50 years. In the event of global catastrophe, the steel outer plates of the device will be inscribed with instructions on how to retrieve the data.
“Earth’s Black Box will record every step we take toward this catastrophe,” the creators of the device said in a statement. “Hundreds of data sets, measurements and interactions relating to the health of our planet will be continuously collected and safely stored for future generations.”
“The box will act as an indestructible and independent ledger of the ‘health’ of our planet,” Jonathan Kneebone, artist and director of the artistic collective Glue Society, which is assisting with the device’s creation, told CNN. “And we hope it will hold leaders to account and inspire action and reaction in the broader population.”