continued from previous
“Unbelievable. It happened again!” – Jason yelled as he stared into the Excel chart on his screen. He brought his face closer to the monitor, so close that he could almost see the individual pixels. For a few seconds he became absorbed into the screen, as he tried to predict where the trendline may go next.
“Happened what?” – Ben started walking over from the other side of the room, his eyes already fixed on Jason’s screen.
“Another one of those dips, like the one we saw two days ago. It’s almost half a ppm.”
“What?!” – Ben almost did a double take as he looked closer at the chart. “Yup. I can see it. It’s quite erratic to be honest, but it confirms the long-term trend we have been hypothesizing. This is now clearly pointing slightly downwards. Looking at this I would say that over the past 2.5 months we are witnessing the first stabilisation in CO2 levels in the past 300 years.”
“Now, before we jump into any conclusions, I want you to run an AI analysis against any temperature, weather, GIS and emissions data you can get your hands on, spanning the past 5 months. And get the Marine Institute on the line. I want to know what Olivia has to say about all this. Hopefully Julia didn’t shut them down”
Jason opened up a few different windows on his screen, as he began to get to work. His task was to try and understand what the planet was up to, by looking only at a few variables. But as with any science, there are always the unknown variables: the things that you cannot measure, that you cannot see, because you haven’t even discovered them yet. You cannot even detect them, because just like Jason, you are looking too close to the screen. Earth was more than just the sum of its parts. It was more than just pixels on a screen, charts, trend lines and atmospheric gas concentrations. It was a Being, that only few scientists could see. The EoT was the Dark Matter missing from Jason’s data. It was everywhere, but nowhere to be seen. It was the planet’s own AI: constantly running, crunching and updating its own data, revising its predictions and deciding on a whim what would happen next.
(from the upcoming novel A New Earth)
to read from the beginning, go here
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books