Forestcover, Business As Usual Scenario

Sonification of Deforestation Predictions Contributing to 4ºC Warming by 2100

Forestcover combines climate science with musical composition. Through earth system modeling, we test how expanding forest cover based on biophysical and sociopolitical realities will impact climate as well as ecosystems and the services they provide, at the global and regional scale. We then translate the modeling outputs into sound, thereby transforming ecological climatology data into music. This inter-disciplinary collaboration seeks to connect the sciences with the arts, specifically environmental science with music, in order to expand the possibilities of cultural engagement with environmental change and sustainability.

The video and audio below feature a Business as Usual Scenario of deforestation leading to 4º Celcius global warming. The research variables are mapped to the following sound parameters:

Forest Cover (millions of km2): tempo (beats per minute); volume levels of forest recordings (decibels); pitches in synth 1 (Hertz)

Mean Surface Temperature (degrees Celsius): volume levels of recordings of carbon emitting machines (decibels)

Evapotranspiration (watts per m2): pitches and tempo in piano Albedo (% of reflectance): pitches in synth 2 (Hertz)

Earth System Modelling Research: Stephanie Roe; Sonification and Composition: Christopher Luna-Mega; Data and Programming Assistant: Zachary Baugher; External Programming Assistant: Diego Villaseñor de Cortina; Video: Rizoma

With the support of the Environmental Resilience Institute at the University of Virginia and the Jefferson Scholars Foundation (2019–2020)

Forestcover, Business As Usual scenario