You know what climate change looks like. Want to know what it sounds like?

We usually learn about climate change from things that look like this:

Image by Robert A. Rohde.


and this:

Chart by NASA (altered).

But what do a hundred years of temperature change sound like?

A geographer, a composer, and a group of musicians have given us a way to comprehend a changing climate through our ears.

Working with 135 years of temperature measurements, composer Daniel Crawford wrote a piece for a string quartet.

Each instrument represents a specific part of the Northern Hemisphere, with low notes representing cold years and high notes representing warm years.

The cello matches the temperature of the equatorial zone.


The viola tracks the midlatitudes.

Two violins complete the quartet, one following temperatures in the high latitudes...

...and one for the Arctic.

The creators decided to focus on the northern latitudes because that's where our planet's temperatures have really jumped. (Don't worry. They are working on another piece for the southern half.)

The music is telling us not only about the pace of climate change, which you can hear as the notes get higher over the measures, but also...

“Listening to the violin climb almost the entire range of the instrument is incredibly effective at illustrating the magnitude of change — particularly in the Arctic, which has warmed more than any other part of the planet."
— Daniel Crawford, composer

The composer says that for him, music is as scientifically valid as plotting lines on a graph.

He shows us how art and science work together to beautifully communicate about climate change. Take a listen.

[vimeo_embed https://player.vimeo.com/video/127083533?title=0&byline=0 expand=1]

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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'Merry Christmas' on YouTube.

The world must have been—mostly—good this year. Because Elton John and Ed Sheeran have teamed up to gift us all with a brand new Christmas single.

The song, aptly named “Merry Christmas,” is a perfect blend of silly and sweet that’s cheery, bright and just a touch bizarre.

Created with the holiday spirit in every way, it has whimsical snowball fights, snow angels (basically all the snow things), festive sweaters, iconic throwbacks and twinkling lights galore. Plus all profits from the tune are dedicated to two charities: the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

I personally don’t know which is more of a highlight: Ed Sheeran channeling his inner-Mariah, performing a faux sexy dance in a leg revealing Santa outfit, or him flying through the air with a giant Frosty the Snowman … who seems to be sporting glasses similar to Elton’s. Are we meant to believe that Elton is the Snowman? This music video even has mystery.
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