Satellite serves as a virtual world where the effects of climate change can be visually experienced in an immersive environment. The platform provides the opportunity to explore and move around a landscape that is usually inaccessible to most. While you explore, the landscape begins to change in response to global climate change data; visualising the past, present, and future state of the landscape as calculated by existing climate models.
For more than 100,000 years, a giant ice sheet of ice has laid dormant atop the landscape that forms part of the world’s largest island: Greenland. The ice sheet is so vast in scale, it moderates the Earth’s temperatures; the white ice reflecting the sun’s energy back into space (a process known as the ‘albedo effect’).
More than two miles thick, seasonal partial melting followed by re-freezing of the ice sheet is not unusual. However, in recent years the pace and severity of this process has increased at an alarming rate. With Arctic air temperatures now rising at twice the average rate, the ice sheet of Greenland is now crucial to understanding the severity of global climate change.
While it may be under near-constant moderation, few other than local inhabitants, scientists, or researchers have the opportunity to experience this sparse landscape and, moreover, the impact of climate change.
Although increasing public awareness of climate change is essential, maintaining engagement is harder. While many rely on news and social media for information, this frequently has a negative impact on maintaining engagement as it often induces feelings of negativity, concern, and anxiety.
While it is true that public awareness, knowledge, and attitude is changing, research shows that maintaining human engagement with such an enormously challenging and abstract subject is more complicated than initially thought.
With the growth in technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, researchers have found that immersive experiences may help to influence action, knowledge, and emotional response to climate change. Therefore, they can potentially bring new opportunities to raise awareness of climate change impacts by tackling two of the biggest challenges of climate change communication: scale and proximity.