Have you ever wondered what human-caused climate change sounds like? What melodic rhythms could result from every rising degree? Well, a scientist with a taste for music has got you covered.
On Wednesday Lucy Jones, a seismologist who also composes music, published “In Nomine Terra Calens,” an ode to our ever-warming planet. The classically trained musician’s composition begins in 1880, around when global temperature records started being collected, and stretches into 2017. Every year has its own note which changes in pitch depending on whether the temperature rises or falls, creating a sense of urgency as the song inches closer to our present-day reality where temperature records break on the regular. Four viola da gambas play the composition with a bass viol focusing on the temperature data.
The song is quite lovely and feels reminiscent of the kind of background music you’d expect in a Game of Thrones episode. It’s not quite scary, but it does evoke a feeling of loss and sadness. As temperatures begin to rise, the tempo increases, and the song isn’t as chill as when it began.
“I think it’s a little somber, which it should be,” Jones told Popular Science.
The song ends in present day, but it couldn’t go on if Earth’s temperatures continue to rise (which they will). According to Popular Science, there aren’t any more notes to play; the instruments have reached their highest notes. That should serve as a warning that Earth has reached its limit, too.