03 July 2013

It Sounds Like This

We've heard a lot about global warming, but we don't often get to hear it.

Daniel Crawford, a student at the University of Minnesota, is changing that by putting rising global temperatures to music and playing it on a cello. Watch and listen to his performance below:

A Song of Our Warming Planet from Ensia on Vimeo.

Each note in the piece represents the average worldwide temperature for a given year between 1880 and 2012. The higher notes stand for warmer years, and the lower notes stand for colder ones (there aren't many as the piece passes its halfway point). Alarmingly, the temperature increases predicted for the end of the 21st century would produce notes so high that humans could not hear them.

I've always liked the sound of cellos, but what I really like about them are the low notes. Unfortunately, we've got a lot of work to do before we'll get to hear more of them in this piece of music.

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