Heat and the Heartbeat of the City

December 2004

Supported by The Greenwall Foundation

Heat and the Heartbeat of the City is a series of sonifications (musical compositions created by directly translating data to sound) that illustrate these changes focusing on the heart of New York City and one of the city’s first locations for climate monitoring, Central Park. The data sonified is actual data from summers in the 1990’s and projected data for summers in the 2020’s, 50’s, and 80’s using one of the most detailed atmospheric models of any urban area. As you listen to the compositions, you will travel forward in time at an accelerated pace and experience an intensification of heat in sound.


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According to the Metropolitan East Coast Assessment maintained by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University, New York City will be dramatically impacted by global warming in the near future. Average temperatures in New York could increase by one to four degrees Fahrenheit by 2030, and up to ten degrees by 2100. The impacts of these changes on this major metropolitan area will be dramatic.