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The 2°C target in the Alps - An Experience in Virtual Reality

English title The 2°C target in the Alps - An Experience in Virtual Reality
Applicant Hoelzle Martin
Number 178628
Funding scheme Agora
Research institution Département des Géosciences Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.05.2018 - 31.07.2020
Approved amount 205'758.50
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Keywords (9)

Permafrost; Alpine Environment; Sustainability; Climate change communication; Visualization; Virtual Reality; Glacier; Scientainment; Education and Mediation

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Wie werden die Auswirkungen einer Temperaturzunahme um 2°C im Hochgebirge verständlich? Im Projekt 2°C-VR erleben Sekundarschüler mittels einer Virtual Reality (VR) Experience Szenarien einer zukünftigen Welt über bzw. unter dem 2°C-Ziel. Die emotionale VR-Erfahrung und die Möglichkeiten der Interaktion sowie des Dialogs sollen zeigen, dass jeder einzelne, durch Änderung des persönlichen Verhaltens oder politischen Aktivismus, einen Beitrag leisten kann, um unter dem 2°C-Ziel zu bleiben. Darüber hinaus wird das Publikum verstehen, dass zur Bekämpfung des Klimawandels eine kollektive Anstrengung erforderlich ist, die eine sozial-ökologische Transformation der Gesellschaft erfordert.
Lay summary

Seit der industriellen Revolution hat der anthropogene Ausstoss von Treibhausgasen das Klima drastisch verändert und die globalen Temperaturen sind stark angestiegen. Mit dem 2°C-Ziel hat die internationale Politik ein rechtlich bindendes Abkommen verabschiedet mit dem Zweck, den globalen Anstieg der Temperaturen auf deutlich weniger als 2°C zu begrenzen. Dieses Ziel ist einfach formuliert, aber für die meisten Menschen schwer zu erfassen.

Die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels und des 2°C-Ziels werden in einer Wanderausstellung (im Nationalparkzentrum Zernez und im World Natur Forum Naters) für die Besucher erlebbar gemacht. Dank hoch aufgelöster Geodaten und einer professionellen Game-Umgebung können die Benutzer in eine überzeugende Rekonstruktion der alpinen Umgebung versetzt werden. Die Gletscherschmelze und die damit einhergehenden Veränderung der gesamten alpinen Umgebung kann im Zeitraffer emotional und realitätsnah miterlebt, interaktiv gesteuert und durch cleveres Verhalten gebremst werden.

Die ausgelösten Emotionen führen nicht unbedingt zu nachhaltigen Verhaltensänderungen. Daher wird die VR-Erfahrung mit einem Raum für den Dialog über Ursachen und Handlungsmöglichkeiten kombiniert.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 27.04.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Cryospheric Commission (EKK, Expertenkommission für Kryosphäre) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
UZH (Departement of Geography) GLAMOS/PERMOS Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Federal Office of Environment (BAFU, Bundeamt für Umwelt) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Gletschergarten, Luzern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
swisstopo Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Eclim research group Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences (SCNAT) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Nationalparkzentrum, Zernez Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
ETH (Versuchsanstalt für Wasserbau, Hydrologie und Glaziologie) and GLAMOS office Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Academia Engiadina Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
PERMOS office Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Fachdidaktik Umweltlehre ETH Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Alpines Museum, Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
World Nature Forum, Naters Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Aletschgletscher schrumpft selbst bei schärfster Klimapolitik Infosperber German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television Aletschgletscher, ein langsamer Tod Canal 9 German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television Avis d'experts: Le glacier d'Aletsch et le réchauffement climatique RTS Western Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Der Thurgauer Andreas Linsbauer reist bis zum Ende der Eiszeit Tagblatt German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Die Schweiz ohne Eis Coop Zeitung German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Die Wissenschaft hat ihre Arbeit gemacht universitas Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Digitaltag Schweiz, Hauptbahnhof Zürich German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions ETH-Klimarunde 2019 German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Expedition Klimawandel Engadiner Post German-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television Interview zur Expedition 2 Grad SRF 1, Regionaljournal Ostschweiz Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Jugendkulturfestival Basel German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Klimatischen Veränderungen in der Aletschregion erleben Walliser Bote und andere Medien der Westschweiz Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Medienbeiträge zur "Expedition 2 Grad" verschiedene Medienbeiträge erschienen im Zusammenhang mit der Eröffnung der Ausstellung German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television Mit virtueller Realität gegen den Klimawandel Südostschweiz Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2019
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Project Homepage German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Scientifica, Zürcher Wissenschaftstage German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television Tagesschau SRF 1 German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Träge Zungen UZH-Magazin German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Welterbetag, World Nature Forum Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Wie Virtual Reality zu einer Verhaltensänderung beiträgt Zett German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Wissen in Bildern, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television Wissenschaftsmagazin Radio SRF 1 German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media World Nature Forum feiert Geburtstag Jungfrau Zeitung Western Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2019

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
121868 Mountain Cryosphere Subgrid Parameterization and Computation (CRYOSUB) 01.05.2009 Project funding
137586 New monitoring techniques for understanding the response of very small glaciers to climate change 01.03.2012 Project funding
135531 Influences of the snow cover on thermal and mechanical processes in steep permafrost Rockwalls 01.05.2012 Project funding
105214 Alpine-wide distributed glacier mass balance modelling for assessment of climate change effects and precipitation in high-mountain regions with application to palaeoclimate reconstruction 01.10.2004 Project funding
134768 Helicopter-borne GPR for mapping snow accumulation distribution 01.04.2011 Project funding
107963 Frozen rock walls and climate change: transient 3-dimensional investigation of permafrost degradation 01.04.2005 Project funding
136279 The evolution of mountain permafrost in Switzerland 01.11.2011 Sinergia
208342 The Ice Age Machine 01.07.2022 Agora

Abstract

This AGORA project aims to make climate change tangible and produce an emotional involvement by means of Virtual Reality (VR). A VR-Experience will simulate the alpine environment to let the target audience, mainly young people, experience scenarios of a future world at and beyond the 2°C target. The VR-Experience and the possibility of interaction will demonstrate that every individual can contribute by changing personal behaviour and political activism. In addition, the audience will come to understand that a collective effort is required to control climate change. Users will learn that a social-ecological transformation is needed for a sustainable future with a more stable climate, a transformation that requires public debate and political consciousness.Since the Industrial Revolution, anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, has changed the climate drastically and global temperatures have risen sharply. At the climate conference COP21 in Paris, in December 2015, the United Nations agreed on the 2°C target, to limit the maximum temperature increase well below 2°C. The goal is easy to formulate, but what does it mean? For the most people an average increase of 2°C in global temperature is hard to grasp.Even with a limited increase of 2°C, serious impacts are expected worldwide (e.g. Sea level rise, droughts, floods). By staying below 2°C, however, there is at least the chance that the Earth’s system dynamics would remain largely intact and gives society the ability to react and adapt. Should the global average temperature increase reach 3-5°C, it would seriously harm the ecosystem, altering the planet in extreme and unprecedented ways. The alpine environment, with its high sensitivity to changes in air temperature, provides an ideal environment to visualize such changes. Scientific knowledge on climate change has rapidly accumulated over the past decade and we are now able to communicate the economic, social and ecological impacts of rising temperature on the alpine environment as a whole.The main objective of the 2°C-VR project is to let the target audience interactively experience the impacts of climate change in VR. This new medium allows to view past, current and future alpine environments and to experience expected changes. Current research in climate change communication shows clearly that emotional involvement alone has its limits and does not necessarily lead to long-term sustainable actions. A better approach is to combine emotional involvement with a space for debate about the causes and possible actions to take. Therefore, we will base our communication strategy on a combination of the VR-Experience and the development of opportunities for action.VR technology will allow us to integrate different forms of scientific knowledge and communicate very complex processes in an easily understandable manner. The impacts of different climate change scenarios will enable an emotional, individual and unique experience. The interactive set-up of the installations will create the sense of being dependent upon each other’s’ actions and transmit the idea that only a collective effort of all individuals within a society can address the root causes of climate change. Later, school classes can debate and reflect on their experiences and on future actions. A web platform will provide a 360° video of the virtual experience and material for classroom discussion after the museum visit. Hyperlinks will lead students to other websites describing concrete actions for a sustainable way of living.For the development and the implementation of the VR-Experience, we commit to a close partnership with two museums, the World Nature Forum (UNESCO World Heritage Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch) in Naters and the visitor centre of the Swiss National Park in Zernez. The project team consists of the group "Alpine Cryosphere and Geomorphology" from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Fribourg, which is responsible for the scientific content, the communication concept and the project management, the discipline "Knowledge Visualization" at the Zurich University of the Arts, which develops and creates the Virtual Reality experience, and the College of Education Grisons, which is responsible for pedagogical implementation and project evaluation. The project is supported by a broad coalition of institutions and partners (BAFU, EKK, SCNAT, ETH, UZH, GLAMOS, PERMOS, WGMS, Eclim, swisstopo) and other museums (Gletschergarten Luzern, Alpines Museum Bern). At the end of the project, the know-how, installations and VR-Experiences may be used not only for education and mediation in schools and museums, but also for showing to decision makers and the general public.
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