A Stunning Art Installation Showing Projected Sea-Level Rise

Lines (57° 59′ N, 7° 16’W) — a breathtaking art installation in Scotland brings attention to projected sea-level rise

by Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho
Edited by the World Ocean Forum

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Credit: Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho, with permission

Recent studies in Science and other journals have shown that existing projections of sea-level rise have been extremely conservative. New projections, in light of ocean warming that is 40% higher than previously estimated, show that sea-level rise will become a challenge much sooner than expected. CNN and the New York Times have reported extensively on the effect of sea-level rise on the low-lying Marshall islands, a U.S. territory whose president last week announced a new plan to raise the islands, in order to avert the worst. These news reports rarely receive the attention they deserve, due to the nature of our current political climate in the U.S. and worldwide.

However, two Finnish artists this week punched through the news cycle with stunning images of their new art installation, showing a brightly lit line mounted on buildings in a town in Scotland, lying on one of the Hebridean islands.

Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho describe their artwork:​

“By the use of sensors, the installation interacts with the rising tidal changes; activating three synchronized light lines by the high tide. The work helps us to imagine the future sea level rise in undefined period of time, depending on our actions towards the climate warming.”

The installation explores the catastrophic impact of our relationship with nature and its long term effects. The work provokes a dialogue on how the rising sea levels will affect coastal areas, its inhabitants and land usage in the future.

This is specifically relevant in the low lying island archipelagos like the Uist in the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, and in particular to Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre in Lochmaddy where the installation is situated.The centre cannot develop on its existing site due to predicted storm surge.

We will let these stunning images speak for themselves, a terrific, terrifying example of breathtaking art in the service of a powerful, vital message highlighting — it seems appropriate to say — how the future of the ocean is inextricably tied to our own.

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Credit: Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho, with permission
Image for post
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Credit: Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho, with permission
Image for post
Image for post
Credit: Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho, with permission
Drone footage by Andy Mackinnon

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World Ocean Observatory

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Dedicated to sharing information about ocean issues: climate to trade, culture to governance. The sea connects all things. Online at WorldOceanObservatory.org.

World Ocean Forum

Fresh ideas, new solutions, serious, provocative, and imaginative conversations about the future of the ocean. An active forum of unexpected ideas, opinion, ideas, proposals for change in ocean policy and action worldwide.

World Ocean Observatory

Written by

Dedicated to sharing information about ocean issues: climate to trade, culture to governance. The sea connects all things. Online at WorldOceanObservatory.org.

World Ocean Forum

Fresh ideas, new solutions, serious, provocative, and imaginative conversations about the future of the ocean. An active forum of unexpected ideas, opinion, ideas, proposals for change in ocean policy and action worldwide.

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