Hearing the climate stripes

Have you seen the climate stripes?

These ones show the average global, yearly temperature deviation from the mean of the yearly temperatures between 1961 and 1990, from 1850 to 2020. In other words, you take some reference period (1961 to 1990) and check how different was each year from that reference period. Quite obviously it was generally colder before the reference period, and (very much) hotter since. I have taken the image from showyourstripes.info (under CC BY 4.0 license), and they also let you plot it differently:

With this, the rise in global temperature becomes even more staggering to see.

Quite crazy, and crazy turning into scary, no? Since I have discovered sonic pi recently, I thought maybe it would be equally staggering to hear this.

To this end, I have downloaded the data for Switzerland from MeteoSchweiz, done some calculations in a jupyter notebook to adapt the range of numbers to something that does not hurt your ears too much, and then let sonic pi turn the numbers into sound. Simply by specifying that the changes in temperature are represented by changes in pitch, without anything additional to hear. (You can find the code, both for the jupyter notebook and for the sonification in my github repo.)

You can listen to the result here – pretty staggering to hear as well, I think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *