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Climate change mural unveiled at Norwich City Hall in historic year for Climatic Research Unit

Photo of the climate mural hung in norwich city hall council chamber
The climate mural hung on the wall of City Hall's council chamber.
Published on Friday, 25th November 2022

On the 50th anniversary year of the UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), the impact of climate change both locally and worldwide has been brought into unique focus by a mural unveiled at City Hall.

The mural, entitled Climate Mural For Our Times, is a 10m x 1.5m piece that includes a record of global temperature over time (66 million BC through to the end of the next century) represented by the hues of the sky, and informed by CRU’s ‘state-of-the-art’ climate science.

The mural also features images of the impacts of climate change on the local landscape and its human inhabitants. It is believed that this is the first time that art and leading-edge science have been combined to give such a vivid portrayal of the challenges posed by climate change and its impacts in the past, the present, and the future.

The mural and accompanying paintings are the outcome of a collaboration between Norwich City Council, CRU, the Transitions Art-Science Project, and Global Water Futures, an international research programme whose headquarters are based at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

To find out more about the mural go the UEA’s dedicated website.

Councillor Alan Waters, Leader of Norwich City Council, said: “The city council is hugely proud to host this climate mural. Norwich has always been at the forefront of understanding and tackling the threat of a warming climate and by placing this impressive, evocative artwork in the centre of City Hall, in our council chamber, we have an ever-present reminder to take the urgent actions required. The council has made good progress on reducing carbon emissions already, but we know the choices we make as a city now will be vital to securing a sustainable future.”

Artist Gennadiy Ivanov said: “It was a long project – almost four years in total – and very hard work. But it is amongst the most fascinating things I have ever done.

“I am privileged to have worked so closely with scientists, using the finest climate research, and being continually informed by the history of Norwich and Norfolk and I feel very proud and humbled that my work will be mounted in the very fine Norwich City Hall. I hope the mural helps people understand what has happened, is happening and may happen, and that it contributes to us all choosing a better future.”

Trevor Davies, Emeritus Professor and Former Director of CRU, said: “I was delighted with Alan Waters’ enthusiastic response when Gennadiy and I first suggested a painting in the City Hall. It was his idea that it should be a mural in the Council Chamber, and that it should include the ‘temperature stripes’. The fact that he saw the significance of the work, and its potential value for decision-making, certainly reflects his far-sightedness. It’s fantastic that CRU played such a big part.”

Dr Michael Taylor said: “The climate stripes of the mural span the Age of Mammals and two simulated futures: one where we carry on with business as usual and destroy our civilisation, and another where we act now to collectively mitigate against the worse impacts of climate change. We hope this mural will change hearts and minds and move those who view it to help deliver a just transition to a sustainable world for future generations.”
 

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