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.”