A 70 foot tall billboard in downtown New York that tracks greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been unveiled by Deutsche Bank's asset management unit.
The huge carbon counter, outside Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, displays a number based on measurements developed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The global measurements include all 24 long-lived greenhouse gases covered under the Kyoto and Montreal protocols, excluding ozone and aerosols.
The counter showed 3.64 trillion metric tons of log-lived greenhouse gases when it was turned on yesterday. The bank says the figure is increasing by around two billion metric tons per month.
The actual counter sign is carbon neutral, using low-risk carbon credits to offset its energy use while the digital numbers are generated by 40,960 LEDs.
The bank has also launched a Web site, Know The Number, a widget displaying the carbon figure that can be downloaded to desktops, and a Twitter feed.
Ronald Prinn, professor of atmospheric science, MIT, says: "This number can help convey how fast these greenhouse gases are increasing, and the progress, or lack thereof, in slowing the rate of increase."
Kevin Parker, global head of DeAM, adds: "It will be a huge task to bring global emissions under control and my hope is that putting this data in the public view will spur both governments and markets to move us more quickly to a low-carbon economy."
The new counter is just around the corner from another billboard displaying a scary number, the national debt clock, which currently stands at $11.4 trillion.