Massive clock projection at MIT uses local twist to track climate crisis

Susan Murcott, an Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS) principal investigator and MIT D-Lab professor, works on the student-devised climate clock project. Ahead of COP28, the most recent iteration displays a projected countdown to 1.5 degree mark in the context of local sporting event statistics.

Susan says of the project, which is in its third year, “It’s [younger] generations that will be equally-most impacted. It’s so important that young people take action.”


As world leaders gather for the United Nations annual climate conference this year in Dubai, people in Boston and Cambridge are being confronted by a dire reminder of the stakes.

From Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Climate Clock Team is projecting a massive clock, roughly 80 by 20 feet in size, onto the south face of the campus’s Green building, the second-tallest structure in Cambridge and home to the university’s Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences department.

The clock, designed by MIT second-year student Norah Miller, counts down to the projected date and time that the planet is expected to have warmed by 1.5 degrees Celsius — 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit — over preindustrial levels. That would mark a threshold climate scientists warn should be avoided to prevent worsening, and potentially irreversible, impacts from global warming, such as more intense wildfires, heat, droughts, and storms.

Boston Globe