Earth is getting a black box to record climate change, but is it just a PR stunt?

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,748   +140
Staff member
Editor's take: Earth is getting a black box, and the hope is that just like in the aviation industry, it’ll one day be used to help determine what went wrong. The monolith will measure roughly 32’ x 13’ x 9’ when complete, or about the size of a city bus, with walls of steel measuring nearly three inches thick. But is this a genuine preservation effort, or just a marketing stunt?

It’ll be “built to outlive us all,” said Jonathan Kneebone, co-founder of artistic collective the Glue Society.

Inside the box will be an array of storage drives with Internet connectivity – all solar powered – with battery backups. Sensors will collect data about land and sea temperatures, ocean acidification (the reduction in the pH of the ocean over time), land-use changes and atmospheric CO2. It’ll also store data on human population, energy consumption and even military spending.

Contextual data like newspaper headlines, social media posts and news from events like climate change meetings will also be archived.

Jim Curtis from marketing communications company Clemenger BBDO said the idea is that if Earth does crash as a result of climate change, “this indestructible recording device will be there for whoever’s left to learn from that.”

If you’re a bit suspicious, well, you aren’t alone.

With a marketing company leading the way, it’s easy to dismiss this as little more than a PR stunt. That conclusion is even easier to settle upon once learning that the device will only have the capacity to store data for the next 30 to 50 years. The team did say they are investigating how to expand capacity, and looking at more long-term methods like inscribing data on steel plates.

Assuming this thing is locked away and left to its own devices, even for 50 years, it seems unlikely it would have much historical value. Traditional hard drives have high failure rates, as do solid-state drives. What’s more, if we’re talking hundreds or even thousands of years into the future, it’s plausible this thing ends up being buried and lost for far longer.

If the group behind this effort were serious about long-term storage, perhaps they should look into something more robust, like storing data within DNA.

Permalink to story.

 

psycros

Posts: 3,814   +4,943
I'm all for a long-term data repository in a truly secure location similar to the underground seed vault. This joke of a project isn't that.
 

Raytrace3D

Posts: 288   +341
An experienced skydiver jumps from a plane with a viable parachute. As the ground approaches he whips out his note book to record what went wrong just before hitting the ground, all the while, he could have pulled the cord and save himself.

That's kind of what I feel like is happening here. Let's record what went wrong rather than fix the issues instead. :/
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 729   +534
Can techspot do a article on the Mormons and their data vault in the Utah mountains .
Hopefully we can read it before xmas - maybe they have reverse engineered B.Y, to write on golden tablets through his seer stone in his hat .
Have they branched out from genealogy?
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 729   +534
I'm all for a long-term data repository in a truly secure location similar to the underground seed vault. This joke of a project isn't that.


The seed vault in Svalbard has already been affected by climate change in the Arctic - with melting permafrost , flooding - last year in July they had a couple of days over 20 degrees Celsius -70F.

Maybe a seed bank needs to come my way to the Antarctic
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,947   +2,327
First it was "global warming", but then when that didn't pan out, it was "climate change". When that failed to catch on it is "climate emergency".
Do we have pollution problems? Yes, mostly in CHINA & INDIA. Does the UN say anything? Nope. They only go after "Western" nations. Plus, I remember when in the 90's, a certain VP was screaming about global warming, saying we're all going to die in 20 years bla bla bla (all the while jetting around like the rest of them on their private aircraft, mansions, SUV's and what not), and the at the time retreating ice in the Nordic areas, uncovered an abandoned settlement that was dated back to the 1200's to 1300's. The researchers, scientist and scholars were all gaa gaa about the discovery, things they found, but, NOT ONE of them mentioned this....if it was so WARM back in the 1200-1300's, without all the "fossil fuels", to support a settlement of people, what made it so warm?
If you lay the global temperatures, over the sunspot cycles, you will see they come out about the same. The media, politicians etc think of "long term in decades. But the Earth is millions of years old. 10 years here and there is nothing, in the age of the Earth.
The Maunder Minimum occurred within the Little Ice Age, and there were times when the Thames river was frozen over.
Short of a bunch of volcanoes popping at the same time, or a global thermonuclear war, the Earth isn't going to burn up.
 

BadThad

Posts: 809   +944
First it was "global warming", but then when that didn't pan out, it was "climate change". When that failed to catch on it is "climate emergency".
Do we have pollution problems? Yes, mostly in CHINA & INDIA. Does the UN say anything? Nope. They only go after "Western" nations. Plus, I remember when in the 90's, a certain VP was screaming about global warming, saying we're all going to die in 20 years bla bla bla (all the while jetting around like the rest of them on their private aircraft, mansions, SUV's and what not), and the at the time retreating ice in the Nordic areas, uncovered an abandoned settlement that was dated back to the 1200's to 1300's. The researchers, scientist and scholars were all gaa gaa about the discovery, things they found, but, NOT ONE of them mentioned this....if it was so WARM back in the 1200-1300's, without all the "fossil fuels", to support a settlement of people, what made it so warm?
If you lay the global temperatures, over the sunspot cycles, you will see they come out about the same. The media, politicians etc think of "long term in decades. But the Earth is millions of years old. 10 years here and there is nothing, in the age of the Earth.
The Maunder Minimum occurred within the Little Ice Age, and there were times when the Thames river was frozen over.
Short of a bunch of volcanoes popping at the same time, or a global thermonuclear war, the Earth isn't going to burn up.
Good Luck my friend! The climate nazi's are coming.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 729   +534
First it was "global warming", but then when that didn't pan out, it was "climate change". When that failed to catch on it is "climate emergency".
Do we have pollution problems? Yes, mostly in CHINA & INDIA. Does the UN say anything? Nope. They only go after "Western" nations. Plus, I remember when in the 90's, a certain VP was screaming about global warming, saying we're all going to die in 20 years bla bla bla (all the while jetting around like the rest of them on their private aircraft, mansions, SUV's and what not), and the at the time retreating ice in the Nordic areas, uncovered an abandoned settlement that was dated back to the 1200's to 1300's. The researchers, scientist and scholars were all gaa gaa about the discovery, things they found, but, NOT ONE of them mentioned this....if it was so WARM back in the 1200-1300's, without all the "fossil fuels", to support a settlement of people, what made it so warm?
If you lay the global temperatures, over the sunspot cycles, you will see they come out about the same. The media, politicians etc think of "long term in decades. But the Earth is millions of years old. 10 years here and there is nothing, in the age of the Earth.
The Maunder Minimum occurred within the Little Ice Age, and there were times when the Thames river was frozen over.
Short of a bunch of volcanoes popping at the same time, or a global thermonuclear war, the Earth isn't going to burn up.
The argument is over - The Odds against man made climate change are infinitesimally small.
Nice you did your own research from right wing corporate sponsored sites .

A 10 minute google search - can disprove all your assertions . Occam's razor - would say that all the climate scientists from every country in the world are not n some big conspiracy theory to collect that not great amount of pay .

You guys have been trudging out localised warming in history as evidence - eg warm times in Roman times , and Scandinavia . It has been debunked so easily . But I will read iit many more times here .

here's your one
Note the assertion it is localised . That means t was not world wide . If you not sure what all that means - ask and I can help with your research .

History is fascinating
eg
[HEADING=1]Norse failure[edit][/HEADING]

A graphical description of changes in temperature in Greenland from 500 – 1990 based on analysis of the deep ice core from Greenland and some historical events. The annual temperature changes are shown vertical in ˚C. The numbers are to be read horizontal:
1. From 700 to 750 people belonging to the Late Dorset Culture move into the area around Smith Sound, Ellesmere Island and Greenland north of Thule.
2. Norse settlement of Iceland starts in the second half of the 9th century.
3. Norse settlement of Greenland starts just before the year 1000.
4. Thule Inuit move into northern Greenland in the 12th century.
5. Late Dorset culture disappears from Greenland in the second half of the 13th century.
6. The Western Settlement disappears in mid 14th century.
7. In 1408 is the Marriage in Hvalsey, the last known written document on the Norse in Greenland.
8. The Eastern Settlement disappears in mid 15th century.
9. John Cabot is the first European in the post-Iceland era to visit Labrador - Newfoundland in 1497.
10. "Little Ice Age" from c. 1600 to mid 18th century.
11. The Norwegian priest Hans Egede arrives in Greenland in 1721.
There are many theories as to why the Norse settlements in Greenland collapsed after surviving for some 450–500 years (985 to 1450–1500). Among the factors that have been suggested as contributing to the demise of the Greenland colony are:[22][23]

  • Cumulative environmental damage
  • Gradual climate change
  • Conflicts with Inuit peoples
  • Loss of contact and support from Europe
  • Cultural conservatism and failure to adapt to an increasingly harsh natural environment
  • Opening of opportunities elsewhere after plague had left many farmsteads abandoned in Iceland and Norway
  • Declining value of ivory in Europe (due to the influx of ivory from Russian walrus and African elephants), forcing hunters to overkill the walrus populations and endanger their own survival