Reservoir of Seasons

Some people believe that global warming is just a fiction, but we know it is happening, because we feel it and we see it every day. Reservoir of Seasons is not about presenting phenomena which many people will never experience, like dying polar bears, melting icebergs or the cooling of the Gulf Stream, but about the subtle changes we experience every day.



Reservoir of Seasons from Gina Haraszti on Vimeo.

More extreme weather or less moderate weather?

A result of climate change that we can notice on a local level is the gradual disappearance of moderate seasons of weather, longer periods of extreme weather, birds migrating too soon or too late and a change in the planting and harvesting of crops.

Due to its geographical location, Hungary has a moderate continental climate and extreme weather is rare. Yet these changes are being felt in Hungary and in similar climates that can be found around the world in places such as the Balkan Peninsula , North America and north east China.

Built to scale

Reservoir of Seasons aims to recreate the conditions found in nature in a controlled environment that is independent from its surroundings. The sphere is a scale model of a much larger environment that is intended to function as a balanced ecosystem of plants and animals, with an adjustable climate. By adjusting the temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, pressure or other climate factors it is possible to create an environment that, in our case, represents spring or autumn.

In autumn the temperature is dropping, we think of fog and the smell of damp leaves in the forest and the evenings cast long shadows with a golden brown light. During the spring months plants are growing, showers of rain give everything a fresh feeling; there is the smell of freshly cut grass and the sound of singing birds.

We can simulate weather but not indefinitely

In this simulation we used basic electronics components including fans, light bulbs, water pumps, ultrasonic misters, speakers and a Peltier junction; as well as a control system implemented on a laptop. This allows the environment to shift from spring to autumn.

Reservoir of Seasons is not a self-sustaining environment; it requires outside light and electricity, people to maintain it and the components won’t work indefinitely. However it gives us some insight into the greater problems facing the planet.

While the environment is difficult to model and even more difficult to mange, but it can be understood. However without these seasonal cues, the long term effects on a given society’s political, artistic, and emotional well being as well as the effects on its traditions can’t be simulated.

There is no easy solution to the challenges we face, but being aware of them is the first step.

Participating researchers

Gálik Györgyi, Haraszti Gina, Juhász Márton, John Nussey