Climate change is amorphous, complicated, long-term. That’s why the “hockey stick” graph of global temperatures over the last millennium is so compelling. It turns the slow and invisible into a handy picture: long and flat for nine centuries, only to jut suddenly in the 20th.
Now, thanks to cellist Daniel Crawford, that hockey stick–or at least the final, rising blade of the stick–has its counterpart in music: “A Song of Our Warming Planet.”
Notes are matched to temperatures, one for each year since 1880. As temperatures increase 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit–and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase by more than 40%–the song climbs from the low, open C to the high end of its register, sounding, in one commenter’s estimation, “like a woman screaming.”
The video ends with text:
“Scientists predict the planet will warm by another 1.8 degrees Celsius (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century. This additional warming would produce a series of notes beyond the range of human hearing.”