Just when New Yorkers expect spring in all its glory, a grim reminder of climate change has come up in Manhattan.
Ghost Forest, a newly-commissioned public art work in Madison Square Park by artist Maya Lin, is an installation of 49 dead Atlantic white cedar trees, some of which are 80 years old.
These trees are victims of salt-water inundation due to rising sea levels caused by climate change.
These dead trees were slated to be cleared as part of regeneration efforts in the fragile ecosystem of the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, an extremely vulnerable site of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecosystem which encompasses more than one million acres.
The height of each tree, around forty feet, overwhelms human scale and stands as a metaphor of the outsized impact of a looming environmental calamity.
Climate change is killing forests all over the world in a variety of ways. A large group of dead tress that still stand is called a ghost forest.
As part of the artwork the artist and Madison Square Park Conservancy are working with Natural Areas Conservancy who are planting 1,000 trees and shrubs within the 5 boroughs to offset the emissions caused by the creation of the artwork.
Lin in conjunction with her Ghost Forest installation and her environmental initiative What is Missing? along with Madison Square Park Conservancy has also created a soundscape that highlights the sounds of some of the native species of animals that were once common to Manhattan. It has an accompanying text and credits.
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