GISTEMP Index 1880-2016

In commemoration of the International Geological Congress voting 30 to 3 in favor of formally designating the Anthropocene, the artist had NASA’s GISTEMP (global temperature anomalies 5-year mean) index tattooed onto his arm, on the day of the announcement, August 29, 2016.

The index tracks, from left to right, global temperature rise from 1880 through 2016, as compiled by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) at Columbia University. The data comes from a temperature model devised in the late 1970's by climatologist, and former NASA scientist, Dr. James E. Hansen. The tattoo will be updated every 5 years to track the index.

The black carbon tattoo pigment is made from soot/ash and is permanent. The term "black carbon" was coined by Dr. Tihomir Novakov, an American physicist, climate scientist, and "the godfather of black carbon studies". Dr. Novakov was famous for developing the aethalometer (Greek for "to blacken with soot"), which was the first instrument developed for measuring atmospheric concentrations of black carbon, an integral component of global warming.


Tattoo executed by artist Frances Segismundo