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Home » Earth’s Black Box: 32ft Steel Monolith Will Be Built In Tasmania This YEAR And Filled With Hard Drives Documenting Our Climate Change Actions As An ‘unbiased Account Of The Events That Lead To The Demise Of The Planet’

Earth’s Black Box: 32ft Steel Monolith Will Be Built In Tasmania This YEAR And Filled With Hard Drives Documenting Our Climate Change Actions As An ‘unbiased Account Of The Events That Lead To The Demise Of The Planet’

If humanity is obliterated by climate change, how will we even know it’s happened?

That’s the question being answered by Australian scientists, who are building Earth’s Black Box – a 32-foot-long steel monolith that captures data about our planet.

It’ll be filled with hard drives that constantly document climate change, giving an ‘unbiased account of events’ that lead to Earth’s demise. 

In the event of a climate apocalypse, it will provide a document of how humanity failed to avoid the disaster – as long as there’s someone or something around to access it.

Artist impressions suggest it will have a similar aura to the mysterious monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. 

Earth’s Black Box will be built in ‘an extremely geologically stable location’ in Tasmania later this year. Pictured is a realistic rendering of what it will look like 

Earth’s Black Box has a similar vibe to the black monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 epic, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (pictured). The mysterious object arrives at Earth, causing confusion for startled primates

What is Earth’s Black Box? Earth’s Black Box is a 32-foot-long steel monolith filled with hard drives that will download data from the internet.

Once built, the solar-powered machine will be collecting two types of data:

1. Measurements of land and sea temperatures, ocean acidification, atmospheric CO2, species extinction, land-use changes, as well as human population, military spending and energy consumption. 

2. Contextual data such as newspaper headlines, social media posts, and news from key events like Conference of the Parties (COP) climate change meetings.

The ambitious project is being led by Australian marketing firm Clemenger BBDO in collaboration with the University of Tasmania. 

Sonia von Bibra, national head of production at Clemenger BBDO and chair of Earth’s Black Box, said construction will start and finish in 2024.

‘Whilst it is not yet built, we anticipate having it completed this year,’ she told MailOnline. 

Earth’s Black Box was originally announced in December 2021, with construction to begin the following year, but the project has been delayed. 

Vov Bibra said ‘philanthropic donors’ are ‘standing by’ with funds to kickstart construction, but it’s been waiting on an application to be passed by the Australian Tax Office. 

Although the exact location of the box is unspecified, it will reportedly be situated about four hours from the city of Hobart, somewhere near the western coast, between Strahan and Queenstown. 

Artistic renderings suggest Earth’s Black Box will have a similar vibe to the black monolith in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, 

Although it won’t be black in colour, the experts see it as akin to a black box in aviation, which records the performance and condition of an aircraft to provide vital information in case of accidents. 

The top of the box will be linked with solar panels, giving it a source of power as long as the sun is shining. 

The solar energy will power the download of scientific data, including sea levels and temperatures, ocean acidification, atmospheric CO2, species extinction and land-use changes in the world’s various locations. 

Meanwhile, an algorithm will take climate-change-related material from the internet, such as newspaper headlines and social media posts.  

Earth’s Black Box is a project led by marketing firm Clemenger BBDO and the University of Tasmania. It’s pictured here in an artist’s impression 

Earth’s Black Box is a project led by marketing firm Clemenger BBDO in collaboration with the University of Tasmania

The exact location of the box is unspecified, but it will reportedly be situated about four hours from the city of Hobart, somewhere near the western coast, between Strahan and Queenstown

According to the project’s website, the purpose of the device ‘is to provide an unbiased account of the events that lead to the demise of the planet, hold accountability for future generations and inspire urgent action’.  

However, they’re still working out how anyone would be able to access its data following a catastrophic climate apocalypse – or if any humans would be alive to do so. 

It’s possible that a small group of humanity’s survivors could learn more about the fall of civilisation due to catastrophic fires, flooding and drought. 

Alternatively, it could teach alien beings from faraway planets what happened to species on Earth, in the event that they one day reach our planet. 

Anyone who comes across it will have to have the ‘capability of understanding and interpreting basic symbolism,’ the developers told ABC in 2021.  

Earth’s Black Box should have enough capacity to store data for the next 30 to 50 years, which is a key period for our quest to contain climate change. 

Once active, the Black Box will also be recording ‘backwards’ as well as forwards – in other words, obtaining data that’s dated months before it was switched on. 

An electronic reader could potentially reactivate the box if it has entered a long-term dormant state as a result of catastrophe – for example, a ‘Mad Max’ type post-apocalyptic situation. 

The ‘Mad Max’ films are set in a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland where petrol and water are scarce commodities (pictured) 

Until a climate catastrophe actually happens it will surely become a tourist attraction for rural Tasmania. 

However, scientists routinely predict some kind of deadly climate event could occur in as little as the next 100 years due to humanity failing to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Rising temperatures, dwindling food supplies and biodiversity loss brought on by climate changes could trigger global systemic collapse. 

A study last year warned that humanity is at a ‘code red’ due to climate change shattering numerous temperature records.

Earth also surpassed ‘doomed’ 2.7°F global warming limit for the first time in 2023, which scientists say was hottest in 100,000 years 

Climate change is ‘off the charts’: Damning report reveals how records were smashed for greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures and sea level rise in 2023 – and scientists warn ‘changes are speeding up’  Climate change is ‘off the charts’ and presents a ‘defining challenge’ to humanity, a damning new report warns.   

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says several climate records were broken and in some cases ‘smashed’ last year.

Greenhouse gas levels, surface temperatures, ocean heat and acidification, sea level rises, and Antarctic ice loss all escalating in 2023 due to fossil fuel emissions. 

‘Sirens are blaring across all major indicators,’ said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. 

‘Some records aren’t just chart-topping, they’re chart-busting – and changes are speeding-up.’ 

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