Monday, October 22, 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
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Harvard Science Center Plaza, 1 Oxford St., Cambridge

#WarmingWarning Opening Event: Climate is Global, Change is Local

Climate change is happening, and warnings issued by international scientists has made the imperative for action clear. Harvard is working across its Schools to accelerate action on climate change. The opening event for the #WarmingWarning art exhibit now on view in Science Center Plaza will include presentations by many climate leaders on campus, who will describe their local work on climate and pathways for students to get involved.

The panel will include remarks, a lightning round, and Q&A with:

  • Office for Sustainability
  • Harvard Forest
  • C-Change at the Chan School
  • Project Zero at the Graduate School of Education
  • Climate Leaders Program for Professional Students
  • Harvard Libraries
  • Undergraduate Resource Efficiency Program
  • Harvard College Conservation Society

A new public art sculpture created by Harvard Bullard Fellow David Buckley Borden and Harvard Forest Senior Ecologist Aaron Ellison, in partnership with Harvard's Office for Sustainability and Common Spaces, will be on view at the Harvard University Science Center Plaza from Oct. 19 to Dec. 7, 2018. The installation combines science communication, art, and environmental design to communicate local and global climate change data and pathways for action. The Office for Sustainability supports the project as part of the University’s ambitious climate action commitment, including new science-based goals striving to be fossil fuel-free by 2050 and fossil fuel-neutral by 2026.


The design represents climate change as a series of painted triangles ("deltas") constructed from hemlock timbers harvested and milled at the Harvard Forest. Shadows, moiré patterns, and color-spectrum vibrancy change as the large-scale (10.5' x 12' x 28') piece reflects the sun's arc, producing an effect that will reward repeated visits.

When viewed from the side, the timbers reveal a wall of information about climate change: one side highlights the dramatic rise in global average temperatures since 1880. The other highlights potential warming futures, via four different scenarios for CO2 emissions that track our current trajectory, recommendations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the Paris voluntary commitments.

The sculpture leaves space at the end of the time series for more triangles to be added. Visitors will, in effect, become a part of the story of Earth's climate history and be encouraged to consider their vital role in its future.

Follow the exhibit on social media via #WarmingWarning.

The model for the installation spent spring 2018 on view at the Rhode Island School of Design as part of the Shifting Sites exhibit and at the Urbano Project as part of their Proposed Futures; Then and Now show.


Explore Borden and Ellison's work on their respective websites

Visit Borden and Ellison's acclaimed field exhibit, Hemlock Hospice, now on view at the Harvard Forest (through Nov. 2018)

Learn more about arts and humanities collaborations at Harvard Forest.

Contact Name: 

Clarisse Hart

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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