Our daily activities and the current scheme of economic development have led us to increase our greenhouse gasses (GHG) emissions several tons every year which ultimately changed the climate.
The greatest questions nowadays are: how much GHG are we going to emit in the future? and, how the climate will respond to those emissions? The first answer relies on us as humankind, the second relies on physics. In that sense, researchers have developed and imagined possible future GHG emission scenarios that are used as inputs for climate models in order to have an idea of the possible future climate.
The actual GHG scenarios that are used to model climate are the “RCPs” (representative concentration pathways), the RCP8.5 is the worst scenario, while the RCP2.6 is the most optimistic scenario in terms of mitigating climate change. You can easily have a broad idea of how do they look like by observing the graph above, but let’s try to figure out how do they sound like!
As I have encouraged in the past, we should keep creating different ways to feel the climate variables, and the one that I present here is a very fun one:
Sonorization is the idea to give a sound property to a numeric value, in this case, I related the low/high CO2 emissions to low/high frequencies of sound in the human-audible spectrum, and put them in SuperCollider, a programing language audio synthesizer, that way we can listen to “the sounds of CO2 emissions”.
Using the programming language SuperCollider, I first played the emissions of the RCP8.5 scenario from 2000 to 2100 every 10 years, then I sorted the emission values from high to low with a bubblesort algorithm, which compares two numbers every step and switch them if the left is lower than the right. Finally, every time that a switch of values was made, the whole emissions time-series sounded once respecting the new sorting.
Have a look and enjoy!!
Special thanks to:
-Ivan Paz, my professor of SuperCollider among a lot of more things.
–Centro Multimedia, CENART