Listen to millennial-scale glaciation

Hamish Prince, a post-graduate student in the School of Geography at the University of Otago, has put together a musical interpretation of the ‘Millennial-scale pulsebeat of glaciation in the Southern Alps of New Zealand’ (Strand et al., 2019).

This lets you listen to the (asynchronous) relationship between cold periods in the Northern and Southern hemisphere over the last 50,000 years.

In a review of Strand et al., 2019, it was suggested that if North Atlantic cold periods were a jazz rhythm, New Zealand’s glaciers accent the back beat. To explore the potential ‘anti-phased timing’ Hamish created a drum beat using the timing of both events, ordered from oldest to most recent. The timing of Northern Hemisphere cold periods were standardized and used to define the bars in the music. The position of New Zealand glacier advances were then placed in the music relative to these. A four bar rhythm appeared from the data and from this Hamish wrote a short composition. This lets you listen to the (asynchronous) relationship between cold periods in the Northern and Southern hemisphere from the last 50,000 years.

Such link in the rhythm of the North Atlantic cold periods and the Lake Pukaki moraine dates suggest some sort of a connection between New Zealand and Northern Hemisphere glacial fluctuations over the last 50,000 years.

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