Want to See the North Atlantic ‘Cold Blob’ Without Getting Wet? Climate Solutions Swirl in Art (1)

–Geography, equality, slave trade and potential climate solutions swirl together
-Physical and virtual spaces ultimately align

By Mathew Carr

Jan. 21-22, 2022 (LONDON): There’s a place in the North Atlantic ocean known as the Cold Blob.

It’s half way between London and New York, two cities that are crucial in leading the world down the wrong, climate-destroying, path. It’s also the midpoint of the the Atlantic slave trade, which involved the transportation of enslaved Africans, mainly to the Americas.

Wikipedia explains (and I leave its links): The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage, and existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries.[1] The majority of those who were enslaved and transported in the transatlantic slave trade were people from Central and West Africa that had been sold by other West Africans to Western European slave traders,[2][3] while others had been captured directly by the slave traders in coastal raids;[4] Europeans gathered and imprisoned the enslaved at forts on the African coast and then brought them to the Americas. See Triangular Trade map below.

Now, the blob has formed from melting Greenland ice, threatening climate change across much of the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere.

It’s the subject of an exhibition in London, UK, which you can see for free.

Details here: https://chisenhale.org.uk/exhibition/rindon-johnson/

Until Feb. 6, 2022


For his commission at Chisenhale Gallery, Berlin-based Rindon Johnson works both within the walls of the building, as well as beyond them. [note — part of exhibition has had to be taken away because of canal repairs, which may be weirdly appropriate]


The gallery hosts a single channel video projected onto a large screen central to the space. Coeval Proposition #2: Last Year’s Atlantic, or You look really good, you look like you pretended like nothing ever happened, or a Weakening (2021) comprises a continuous live rendering of ocean weather data meticulously collected by Johnson from March 2020 to January 2021.

On any given day over the course of the exhibition, the work generates second-for-second figurative visualisations of weather data gathered on the same day in the previous year.

The result creates a year-long portrait of an area of ocean-surface and surrounding sky, seen from various perspectives.

Continuously mapping a recent past through computer generated imagery, Johnson transports visitors to a contained yet constantly moving mass of water to observe its changing climate — from undulating waves, to falling rain and clearing skies.

This site, known as North Atlantic ‘cold blob’, or the ‘North Atlantic warming hole’, is coincidently located at the approximate geographical midpoint between Chisenhale Gallery in London and SculptureCenter in New York.

The mass of water is a stubborn cool patch that, despite the surrounding water’s rising temperature, stays cold.

A direct result of the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet due to climate change, the cooler waters in this area interfere with the Gulf Stream current’s regulation of oceanic and land temperatures from the east coast of North America to the west coast of Europe.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_blob#/media/File:16-008-NASA-2015RecordWarmGlobalYearSince1880-20160120.png The cold blob in the North Atlantic (also called the North Atlantic warming hole[2][3]) describes a cold temperature anomaly of ocean surface waters, affecting the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) which is part of the thermohaline circulation, possibly related to global warming-induced melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

Triangular Trade Needs Reversing

Wikipedia: Commercial goods from Europe were shipped to Africa for sale and traded for enslaved Africans. Africans were in turn brought to the regions depicted in blue, in what became known as the “Middle Passage”. Enslaved Africans were then traded for raw materials, which were returned to Europe to complete the “Triangular Trade“. Link here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Passage#/media/File:Triangular_trade.svg

CarrZee comment: Clever voluntary globalish climate solutions can help compensate for this history of exploitation, by rewarding African nations for going down a clean-energy pathway that avoids the pitfalls of the emissions-heavy western model. A trade in carefully created United Nations carbon credits could provide part of the solution.

My hopefulness might not be as far fetched as it might first appear.

Egypt is hosting UN climate talks later this year known as COP27. The talks in Glasgow in November last year, while disappointing many commentators, did shift private-sector incentives further toward climate protection.

Global inequalities are being tackled in other ways.

The G20, overseen this year by Indonesia, and other nations are already implementing mulitlateral tax reform.

Under the global tax reform’s first pillar, it will reallocate taxing rights on more than $125 billion of profit to consumer-producer-market countries instead of corporate headquarter countries.

Developing country revenue gains are expected to be greater than those in more advanced economies, as a proportion of existing revenues,” according to this carefully worded sentence from the OECD.

A second pillar of the reforms introduces a global minimum corporate tax rate set at 15%. (The new minimum tax rate will apply from 2023 to companies with revenue above 750 million euros and is estimated to generate around $150 billion in additional global tax revenues annually.)

For CarrZee’s main interests, the next two years will be crucial to deploy better energy-market structure to save the climate.

Egypt’s proposal to host 2022 climate talks was titled “Road to COP27…A United Africa for a Resilient Future.” (See also the exclusive CarrZee story quoting Eqypt from the Glasgow talks, in the notes below — which also hints at better global cooperation that focuses on appropriately taxed equity rather than colonialist-style debt.)

Rindon Johnson’s works explore “the impact of capitalism, climate and technology on how we see and construct ourselves,” Chisenhale Gallery says.

Policy-writing work undertaken by many lawmakers around the world last year means there’s definitely a chance in 2022 for “better construction of ourselves.”

Yet, the title of Johnson’s art work appropriately captures the uncertainty about whether it will actually happen in a credible and fair: Coeval Proposition #2: Last Year’s Atlantic, or You look really good, you look like you pretended like nothing ever happened, or a Weakening (2021) 

(Adds comments, context on slave trade, tax reform.)



New York Times take on the ‘blob’ or ‘hole’:

NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/03/02/climate/atlantic-ocean-climate-change.html?auth=link-dismiss-google1tap


Story from November

This COP26 Solution Would Not Only Save the Climate but Stave Off an Emerging-Market Debt Crisis

–At least some emerging countries are still skeptical

By Mathew Carr

Nov. 11, 2021 (GLASGOW) — The holy grail of climate solutions is still on the table at the United Nations talks in Glasgow this week.

Yet, it seems to be hanging by a thread.

China and the U.S. both touted a global carbon market yesterday as their apparent bitter rivalry ebbed away, at least briefly.

They are not completely seeing eye-to-eye yet. China press named it: China-U.S. Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s

U.S. version was America first: U.S.-China Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s

It includes this: Both countries will work cooperatively to complete at COP 26 the implementing arrangements (“rulebook”) for Articles 6 and 13 of the Paris Agreement, as well as common time frames for Nationally Determined Contributions.

Article 6 is about global carbon markets, while Article 13 is about enhanced “transparency” of climate solutions needed to build trust between nations.

The first section of Article 13 says this:

In order to build mutual trust and confidence and to promote effective implementation, an enhanced transparency framework for action and support, with built-in flexibility which takes into account Parties’ different capacities and builds upon collective experience, is hereby established.

Such a framework might be beginning to have an impact …boosting trust, though it’s not quite there yet.

The pandemic has made government finances acutely constrained, especially in poorer nations, which have not caused the climate crisis and where debt is more expensive.

Forty years after Mexico ran out of money and prompted a widespread emerging market debt crisis, developing countries have again built up high levels of debt.

According to The Economist, their government obligations average about 63% of their combined GDP. It cited IMF figures. It’s an increase of more than ten percentage points since 2018. Could the anniversary of one debt crisis be marked by another?

Egypt will not be able to achieve its climate agenda if it’s being hit with higher and higher debt, said Dr Hala Helmy El Said, minister of planning and economic development in Egypt.

Emerging countries need concessional finance or investments, she said in an interview at the Glasgow talks. “My preference is equity.”

Under Article 6, countries and companies around the world will be able to invest in emerging markets to cut emissions. Because costs are lower and the number of opportunities higher, it’s set to be cheaper to generate carbon credits in emerging nations…..(see link for full story)


Rindon Johnson “Law of Large Numbers: Our Selves” Chisenhale Gallery / London: Flash Art:

There is a way of speaking that implicates a body in everything on earth. It may affirm transitory fixity where large, unfolding events leave one utterly unfixed. A similar etymological avarice permeates Rindon Johnson’s work, claiming trans, for instance, as pervious prefix: “I love the idea that anything else that is trans is also mine, because I’m trans too. There is nothing like being on a road trip and passing by all these giant trucks with ‘trans-blank,’ like ‘trans-pacific,’ ‘trans-national,’ ‘trans-air,’ ‘trans-alliance.’ All these trans, all that stuff under our name.” Prefix and preposition are relevant; their notice can claim a system for oneself. In Johnson’s exhibition “Law of Large Numbers: Our Selves,” resilience and flow inform a means to think subjectivity through scale and immensity, finding affinity with the behaviors of water.



  1. having the same age or date of origin; contemporary.”these lavas were coeval with the volcanic activity”


  1. a person of roughly the same age as oneself; a contemporary.”like so many of his coevals, he yearned for stability”



  1. There is an Old saying among The Acadian People of Eastern Canada ‘The more things change, The more they stay the same. Another way to say that is ‘History has a way of repeating itself’. We ALL could learn something from these statements

    The Holocene our current ‘Warming Epoch’, is only the second Warming Epoch in the last 250,000 years. The Eemian warming period, 150,000 years ago lasted 20 – 30,000 years. From then until about 11,500 years ago, the Great Plaines, most of Europe and much of Asia were covered by Ice . . . 10 kilometers thick. . . . Not much food growth happening there I would suggest . . .

    Change, Climate Change as we see it today is a paradox from which a review of history sheds great light. We have had 9 periods of Global Warming and 9 Periods of Global cooling in just the last 10,000 years during the Holocene. Five of those warming periods were warmer than what we are seeing today. Two since Anthony and Cleopatra . . . It is of Paramount importance that we review history before boldly exclaiming that anything relating to Climate Change is ‘Unprecedented’. Planet Earth . . . IS . . . Change. That is the ONLY constant.

    Glaciers have been melting all over the world since around 1750, the depth of the Mini Ice Age. Chris Mooney in an article for The Washington Post in December, 2018 suggested that Arctic Sea Ice is melting at a rate of almost 450 Billion tons per year. 14,000 tons per second! His research looks back to 1986. That is just 35 years. An astounding amount of Glaciation has melted since then. Almost 16 Quadrillion tons of Ice. Again, this is another unfathomable number to try and rationalize. https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2018/12/21/melting-arctic-ice-is-now-pouring-tons-water-per-second-into-ocean-scientists-find/

    Exactly the same cycle began about 500 BC at the depth of the ‘Iron Age Cold Epoch’ and again around 600 CE at the depth of ‘The dark Ages’.

    This cooling in the North Atlantic from melting Glaciers is the Cyclical Effect of Planet Earth wandering back and forth between periods of Warming and Cooling . . . Naturally . . . as it ALWAYS has . . . with or without Man-Made CO2. This cooling you point to will more likely effect the flow of Jet Stream, which in turn affects the travel patterns of future Hurricanes. https://www.americanscientist.org/article/uncovering-prehistoric-hurricane-activity

    ‘Man–Made Climate Change’ advocates throughout the World, choose to ignore the influence of Nature on Climate Change. First, the data is little known and is complex to analyze. Second, pointing to Man–Made sources is easy and has long standing credibility throughout the Global Community of Environmental Scientists. However, ignoring 97% of contributing factors due to their complex data sets, to say the least, is Naïve. Increases in CO2 from the long-term average of 280 ppm to our current 400 ppm is troubling. However, to lay blame exclusively and unabashedly at the feet of Man who has been burning Fossil Fuels since the mid 1700’s is Scientifically misguided. In context, demonizing humans for burning fossil fuels when we only contribute 3% to the total output, is Short Sited, Misogynistic and Scientifically flawed. Far better we clean up what is attached to that CO2 from burning Fossil Fuels with Scrubbers, Electrostatic Precipitators and Nitrous Oxide Burners. . . IF we are truly serious about cleaning up the air that we breathe.

    Throughout the billions of years that Planet Earth has been evolving it has always been a Natural Process. Humans have no more affect on Climate Change than setting off an atomic bomb would alter the Earth’s path as it Circles the Sun. History demonstrates unequivocally that Volcanoes are responsible for Cold Climate Change. When the skies clear from the effects of ‘Volcanic Winter’, Global Warming is the result. The Earth naturally evolving back to what I call the ‘The Norm of Warm’. After the Atmosphere and Stratosphere have been cleared from the debris left behind by those Massive Volcanic Eruptions.

    Throughout the last 10,000 years of history, each of the 9 Warming Periods of the Holocene have ended with Massive Eruptions. All nine (9) Warming Periods that have occurred over the last 10,000 years – no exceptions. Wow . . . History really does have a way of repeating itself . . . funny about that . . .




    My Thoughts . . .

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