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Artists and researchers alike are learning that climate change can not only be seen, but also heard.

Enter Ugo Nanni, a researcher from the University of Oslo with an affinity for transcribing natural phenomena into sound. Using a seismometer, Nanni sought to better understand the melting patterns of the Kongsvegen glacier in Svalbard, a landmark roughly 800 miles north of Norway.

When ice melts and ultimately breaks, it creates vibrations which may be detected by a seismometer. As one might imagine, these particular frequencies are normally inaudible, registering between 1-100 HZ, but Nanni leveraged some post-processing magic so we could hear the glaciers for ourselves.


Ugo Nanni, a researcher from the University of Oslo, used a seismometer to record and process the ambient sounds of glaciers.

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Through six tracks, Nanni documents the process cycle of a melting glacier, illuminating the impact of climate change through the emerging art form of turning data into sound. Available to listen on SoundCloud, Nanni's intriguing work is full of scientific utility. As Bloomberg notes, the ambient tracks may have the ability to indicate the pacing of glacier mass loss as well as assess the potential for glacial hazards.

In the first track, a glacier shows its first sign of weakness registering cracks during a rough storm. In the second, the glacier begins to break. In tracks three through five, water flows through the glacier, causing additional crevasses to emerge. Finally, in the final recording, the resonance of the glacier fracturing is heard.

Listen to Nanni's full project below.


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