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To tackle the climate crisis we must understand the oceans. They cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and provide our planet’s life support system. They have absorbed more than 90% of the heat gained in the last half century and 25% of carbon dioxide emissions, they produce up to 80% of the oxygen we breathe and provide habitat for all Kingdoms of Life.
Climate change will profoundly impact the whole ocean, but the consequences are still not widely understood. There is much that scientists are only just beginning to understand, particularly in the deep ocean, and especially at ocean-basin scale. Habitats in the deep sea face a range of threats from the ways we exploit our planet’s resources, but none more so than from the warming and acidification of our seas as a consequence of increased carbon emissions. Awareness and engagement with these issues must reach beyond the scientific community to support the COP26 agenda and inform appropriate actions to minimise and mitigate climate change impacts.
This special evening session, convened by the iAtlantic research programme in partnership with Dynamic Earth, will highlight the vital role that our oceans play in regulating the Earth’s climate. It will showcase some of the latest scientific research into how ecosystems in the deep and open ocean are affected by climate change, both now and into the future, and how those climate change impacts interact with other pressures affecting marine life. Alongside talks by leading marine scientists about their research, the evening will feature the premiere screening of two new productions:
Cold-water corals in a Changing Ocean – Sir David Attenborough explains how ocean acidification is causing foundations of deep-sea coral reefs to become weaker. These reefs are the cities of the deep sea providing home to many other animal species – lose the corals, and the habitat they create will disappear. This new film illustrates how carbon dioxide emissions affect remote ecosystems of the deep ocean and explains that the only solution is to reduce these emissions as quickly as possible.
The Final Frontier for Climate Change planetarium show is an immersive 360º experience developed by marine scientists and visualisation experts to tell the story of climate change impacts in the ocean.
Throughout the evening, guests will have ample opportunity to talk with scientists, network among a diverse group of stakeholders, and learn more about the cutting-edge scientific research that iAtlantic is undertaking and how its results will support decision-making in the climate and biodiversity policy arenas.
|18:30 – 19:00||Guests arrive at Dynamic Earth.|
Welcome drinks in The Stratosphere area against the backdrop of Luke Jerram’s stunning Gaia art installation
|19:00||Guests move to the Planetarium for the evening programme|
Welcome address by Prof. Julie Fitzpatrick, Chief Scientific Advisor to Scotland.
Premiere screening of the Cold-water corals in a Changing Ocean film, featuring Sir David Attenborough
Talks by iAtlantic scientists, including audience discussion and Q&A:
Premiere performance of The Final Frontier for Climate Change planetarium show.
Networking and informal discussion over drinks and a light supper
Note: In line with current Covid-19 guidelines for all indoor venues in Scotland, guests will be asked to wear face masks when moving around building and when they are seated in the planetarium, but not when eating or drinking.
We very much look forward to seeing you at Dynamic Earth for this evening event. Attendance is by invitation only.
The event will take place at Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, E8 8AS. Please see the Dynamic Earth website for a map and directions. Waverley Station is a 10-minute walk away.
Please arrive via Dynamic Earth’s main entrance, with taxis dropping off in the main turning circle. If you are driving, please feel free to use our car park free of charge, accessed from Holyrood Gait. From the car park, take the lift up to the Stratosphere level.
If you are travelling from Glasgow and have reserved a seat on our coach, you will receive details of where to meet the driver via email. Please note that seats are only available for those who have booked them in advance via their RSVP.
Gaia is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram. Measuring seven metres in diameter and created from 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface, the artwork provides the opportunity to see our planet, floating in three dimensions.
The installation aims to create a sense of the Overview Effect, which was first described by author Frank White in 1987. Common features of the experience for astronauts are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.
The artwork also acts as a mirror to major events in society. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the artwork may provide the viewer with a new perspective of our place on the planet; a sense that societies of the Earth are all interconnected and that we have a responsibility toward one another. After the lockdown, there has been a renewed respect for nature.
A specially made surround-sound composition by BAFTA award winning Composer Dan Jones is played alongside the sculpture. In Greek Mythology Gaia is the personification of the Earth.
For more details visit my-earth.org
The Final Frontier for Climate Change is an innovative introduction to the impact of climate change in the oceans, using the immersive setting of the planetarium to inspire diverse audiences with stunning 360° visualisations of cutting-edge research into enigmatic cold-water coral ecosystems. It is rooted in a successful partnership between public engagement specialists at Dynamic Earth and world-leading marine scientists at the University of Edinburgh who coordinate multidisciplinary projects that bring together stakeholder nations around the North and South Atlantic. The Atlantic is a significant part of the global ocean/climate system and draws down more carbon than any other ocean basin. Research here is at the forefront of our evidence base for basin-scale management practices and effective marine policy.
Audiences will be guided by expert presenters on a journey into the world of deep-sea research with clear links to the Nature COP26 presidency theme. The full-dome visual environment is proven to be ideal for audiences of different backgrounds and different levels of understanding, enabling them to grasp new concepts and inspire them to feel connected to relatively complex and often geographically remote science. Audiences are not merely passive observers but become actively engaged with their surroundings. Crucial to the learning experience, our shows include interactive elements and discussion time.
Our narrative is the story of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa, a deep-water ecosystem builder and the ‘canary in the coal mine of climate change’ as it is particularly sensitive to the effects which will be felt in our oceans over the coming decades. Cold-water corals provide an important marine habitat for numerous species of fish, sharks and rays, as well as a window into the past climate record through their slow-growing skeletons. Many of the key topics which we will be introducing, such as ocean circulation, mapping the ocean floor, and understanding ocean acidification, can be related back to cold-water corals, providing a useful touchstone for the audience. By contrasting natural ocean changes which have caused coral colonies in the Pacific to become severely degraded it is possible to directly see what the future holds for Atlantic coral – however in this case these more rapid changes will be entirely of our own making.
Dynamic Earth is a science centre and educational charity that champions better understanding of environmental science. Our mission is to inspire, inform and empower people of all ages and all backgrounds with an understanding of the Earth and its future. Through our visitor centre in Edinburgh, and outreach programmes that reach people across the UK, we tell the Earth’s story based on the latest scientific evidence. We encourage people to engage with science in fun and meaningful ways, and help them to make informed decisions about the actions they can take for a sustainable environmental future.
Strong links with the UK research community allow us to play a leading role in supporting public engagement with scientists and contemporary UK research. Dynamic Earth is home to the UK’s first 6K planetarium facility for which we are developing bespoke full dome content to spark conversations about the global effects of climate change. We are working in partnership with an international team of marine scientists led by Prof. J. Murray Roberts at the University of Edinburgh to create ground-breaking visualisations of research into deep-sea ecosystems in the Atlantic. This collaboration contributes towards our vision of accessible opportunities for people of all backgrounds to cherish our remarkable planet and embrace collective responsibility for its future.
For more details visit www.dynamicearth.co.uk