The Musical Impact of Climate Change, pt. 2

“Throat Singing” from the Siberian nation of Tuva is one of the most remarkable phenomena in all world music; individual voices are trained to produce multi-note melody-and-drone combinations, creating an orchestral effect.

Kongar-ol Ondar visits David Letterman

Tuva has been inhabited since the 12th century, starting with the expansion of the Mongolian empire, but because of changes in weather and climate (increasing drought, growing and fire seasons), the severity of fires and areas burnt have increased since 1990. At the same time, protecting the area against future fires is becoming more difficult. This might be because large portions of the forest are being converted to a steppe-type ecosystem after fires have occurred, which further inhibits post-fire forest regeneration. Such a conversion is precisely what models predict will be an initial indicator of climate-induced ecosystem change. In addition, annual fire carbon emissions have been estimated for the Balgazyn forest of Tuva with regard to ground fuel loading and fire severity. This is important because the dryer the fuels, the more severe the fires and the greater the greenhouse-gas emissions. And, forests are not always able to regenerate on severely burnt or repeatedly burnt regions.


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