David Usher joins special Earth Day project at Concordia University

To commemorate Earth Day, Montreal musician David Usher is urging everyone to try to turn back time.

Montreal musician urges people to see Climate Clock projected on De Maisonneuve and Guy from dusk to midnight

'Somehow the real urgency of climate change hasn’t sunk in," says Montreal musician David Usher. (CBC archive)

To commemorate Earth Day, Montreal musician David Usher is urging everyone to try to turn back time.

To make sure people understand what he means, he's inviting people to check out the new Climate Clock.

The digital clock will be projected at Concordia's downtown campus, at de Maisonneuve West and Guy streets, from dusk until midnight. It can also be seen online

Usher says the clock is a countdown to when the planet's global temperature will rise by two degrees compared to pre-industrial levels in the mid-1800s.

It's part of a project that Usher is involved in along with Concordia associate professor Damon Matthews.

"As I was researching sea-level rise, I started to look into the cause of two degrees. When you look at two degrees online, there's a lot of information about what happens at two degrees, but there's almost nothing about when two degrees actually happens and I thought that was a bit crazy," Usher told CBC Radio One's Homerun host, Sue Smith.

"It's been pretty much agreed by scientists all over the world that we are trying to keep the world from its global temperature rising two degrees," Usher said. "If the world gets two degrees warmer … it's sort of the beginning of the slope where everything that we've been talking about for the last 20 years really starts to come to fruition."

We will hit two degrees in 28 years.- David Usher, Montreal musician

Right now, the clock shows that today, in 2016, our planet is about one degree warmer than it was in the 1800s.

If people continue to produce the same amount of carbon emissions as they do now, the Climate Clock predicts that the Earth's temperature levels will rise by two degrees in 2044.

"The concept behind the clock is that we're essentially drawing a line in the sand. That is the actual date – we will hit two degrees in 28 years," Usher said, adding that he hopes providing a timeframe will give people a sense of urgency about trying to slow down climate change.

"I know how old my kids will be in 28 years. We measure our lives in years. I'm hopeful that these kinds of ideas, where we re-imagine how we tell this story to make it relatable, will help a bit."

The clock projects we'll hit the 1.5-degree mark much sooner, in August 2031.

The Climate Clock can be seen in downtown Montreal until Saturday, but Usher says that once a year -- one week before every Earth Day – scientists will stop the clock.

"We will stop the clock and we will measure to see if we are gaining time or losing time against two degrees," Usher said.

"We're trying to revisualize the story of climate change and tell it in different ways. If we can't figure out the urgency of the problem, it's hard to get to the solution stage."

With files from CBC Homerun