Category Archives: Global Warming


Tide and Current Taxi expedition

On Saturday, May 18, at dawn, SP Weather Station partnered with Marie Lorenz’s Tide and Current Taxi on a water-borne dérive in Jamaica Bay. We brought along maps of flight paths and Atlantic coast bird migration routes and, very loosely, let them guide our journey.

Marie’s blog entry gives a pretty great overview of the day.

NASA GOES captures Hurricane Sandy

Amazing images of Hurricane Sandy courtesy of NASA GOES satellites:

Video from NASA GOES online here.

You can also buy a print of a NASA GOES image from 20×200 with net revenue to benefit the American Red Cross – just one of many ways to help out the recovery efforts, of course.

12/1, 7 PM: U-N-F-O-L-D: Climate Change Art and Science Dating Game @ Parsons

December 1, 2011 7:00 p.m.

An event presented in partnership with PositiveFeedback, a collaboration of The Earth Institute at Columbia University; the Center for Creative Research at NYU; and the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities.

Wondering what brings scientists and artists together on climate change? Join author David Berreby, artist Mary Miss, and environmental researcher Stephanie Pfirman, on their first date—a chance to connect with other artists and scientists as well!

This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition U-n-f-o-l-d: A Cultural Response to Climate Change. For more information, visit

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 2 West 13th Street

Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served
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From The New Yorker, “The New Politics of Climate Change”

From “Storms Brewing” by Elizabeth Kolbert, published June 13th in The New Yorker

“….Obama’s visit to Joplin was the third that he had made in a month to the site of a weather-related disaster. In mid-May, the President met with Memphis residents who had been left homeless by the flooding of the Mississippi River, and, not long before that, he toured sections of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, that had also been flattened by a tornado. Meanwhile, even as the President was consoling the bereaved in Joplin, residents in Vermont were bailing out from record-high water levels around Lake Champlain; Texas was suffering from a near-record drought that could cost the state more than four billion dollars in agricultural losses; and officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were forecasting that the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, which formally began on June 1st, would once again be “above normal.” (The 2010 season was tied for the third most active on record.) The news from abroad was, if anything, more worrisome. Last week, the Chinese government estimated that more than four million people were having trouble finding drinking water, owing to a drought along the Yangtze River. The French agricultural minister warned that an exceptionally hot, dry spring would reduce that country’s wheat harvest. And in Colombia more than two million acres of land have been submerged after almost a year of nearly continuous rain. “Over the past ten months, we have registered five or six times more rainfall than usual,” the director of Colombia’s meteorological agency, Ricardo Lozano, said.”

SP Weather Station in Queens International 4

Please join us!

SP Weather Station in:
QUEENS INTERNATIONAL 4: A Biennial Survey of Artists Living or Working in Queens January 24 – April 26, 2009

Opening reception: Saturday, January 24, 6pm-12am featuring live performances & screenings

Queens Museum of Art
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

Featuring contributions from:

Andrea Polli and Chuck Varga of Hello Weather!
( Guest Weather Station on the QMA Rooftop

Daniel Larson: Weather Metabulator

Leah Beeferman, Natalie Campbell, Susan Goethel Campbell, Carrie Dashow, Mike Estabrook, Neil Freeman, Richard Garrison, Michael Geminder, Vandana Jain, Katarina Jerinic, Daniel Larson, Bridget Lewis, Lize Mogel, Heidi Neilson, Chris Petrone, Sarah Nicole Phillips, Jing Yu, Liz Zanis: SP Weather Reports, January 2008 – February 2009

As well as Guest Lecture Posters, a Cloud Identification Area, and MORE!

Upcoming SP Weather Station Guest Lectures at QI4:

Saturday, February 7, 2pm: Nathalie Miebach
Boston-based sculptor who translates weather data into woven sculptures, speaking about her evolving project “Weather Suits for Cities” and related work

Sunday, March 1, Time TBD:
In conjunction with MetLife First Sundays for Families at the QMA, SPWS presents 3 talks in the Queens Museum’s Panorama of the City of New York:
Isaac Gertman video presentation: Weather Apocalypse NYC
Kenneth Goldsmith reads from his book, “The Weather”
SP Weather Station slideshow on Clouds of New York

Saturday, April 4, 2pm: Jane Marsching
Digital media artist speaking about her current project, “Arctic Listening Post,” and related work

Global Warming Opera

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth is going to be staged as an opera! The Italian composer Giorgio Battistelli has been commissioned to produce an opera on Gore’s international multiformat hit, for the 2011 season at the Milan opera house, La Scala.

The Guardian, Huffington Post, TruthDig, all over the place.


From Wired magazine issue 16.01
[online (reproduced here in full, as it has been noticed that Wired articles online tend to disappear)]
by Clive Thompson 12.20.07
Clive Thompson on How the Next Victim of Climate Change Will Be Our Minds

Australia is suffering through its worst dry spell in a millennium. The outback has turned into a dust bowl, crops are dying off at fantastic rates, cities are rationing water, coral reefs are dying, and the agricultural base is evaporating.

But what really intrigues Glenn Albrecht — a philosopher by training — is how his fellow Australians are reacting.

They’re getting sad.

In interviews Albrecht conducted over the past few years, scores of Australians described their deep, wrenching sense of loss as they watch the landscape around them change. Familiar plants don’t grow any more. Gardens won’t take. Birds are gone. “They no longer feel like they know the place they’ve lived for decades,” he says.

Albrecht believes that this is a new type of sadness. People are feeling displaced. They’re suffering symptoms eerily similar to those of indigenous populations that are forcibly removed from their traditional homelands. But nobody is being relocated; they haven’t moved anywhere. It’s just that the familiar markers of their area, the physical and sensory signals that define home, are vanishing. Their environment is moving away from them, and they miss it terribly.

Albrecht has given this syndrome an evocative name: solastalgia. It’s a mashup of the roots solacium (comfort) and algia (pain), which together aptly conjure the word nostalgia. In essence, it’s pining for a lost environment. “Solastalgia,” as he wrote in a scientific paper describing his theory, “is a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at home.'”

It’s also a fascinating new way to think about the impact of global warming. Everyone’s worrying about resource management and the spooky, unpredictable changes in the ecosystem. We fret over which areas will get flooded as sea levels rise. We estimate the odds of wars over clean water, and we tally up the species — polar bears, whales, wading birds — that’ll go extinct.

But we should also be concerned about the huge toll climate change will inflict on our mental health. In the modern, industrialized West, many of us have forgotten how deeply we rely on the stability of nature for our psychic well-being. In a world of cheap airfares, laptops, and the Internet, we proudly regard mobility as a sign of how advanced we are. Hey, we’re nomadic hipster capitalists! We love change. Only losers get attached to their hometowns.

This is a neat mythos, but in truth it’s a pretty natural human urge to identify with a place and build one’s sense of self around its comforts and permanence. I live in Manhattan, where the globe-hopping denizens tend to go berserk if their favorite coffee shop closes down. How will they react in 20 or 30 years if the native trees can’t handle the 5-degree spike in average temperature? Or if weird new bugs infest the city in summer, fall shrinks to a single month, and snow becomes a distant memory? “We like to think that we’re cool, 21st-century people, but the basic sense of a connection to the land is still big,” Albrecht says. “We haven’t evolved that much.

“What’s more, Albrecht has noticed that the more quickly environmental change occurs, the more intense the solastalgia. The mental-health effects can be powerful. In the Australian outback, industrial activity — notably open-pit coal mining — has turned verdant areas into moonscapes seemingly overnight, and the suicide rate in the region has skyrocketed. Or witness New Orleans, where a Harvard survey found that survivors of Hurricane Katrina reported suffering a “serious mental illness” at roughly double the rate of the city’s residents three years earlier. Fully 6 percent have thought about suicide. Trauma and personal loss obviously play a role in this, but the decimation of the city’s physical environment surely does as well.

Ironically, we may simply be rediscovering a syndrome that we thought was dead and buried. Back in the 1940s, the military considered homesickness to be a serious and potentially fatal illness, because drafted soldiers who got shipped overseas would often become savagely depressed. These days, Americans are rarely dislocated against their will, and the army is all-volunteer. Few of us have the experience of being unmoored in the world.

But that may be changing rapidly. In a world that’s quickly heating up and drying up, you can’t go home again — even if you never leave.