The climate is changing in the here and now, and consequences have already been severe. But for scientists, a major question persists: How do you make people care? Dire warnings and images of melting glaciers and burning forests — the list goes on — have become standard tools, but people are arguably becoming desensitized to these approaches.

So how else can you communicate the most pressing issue of our lifetimes? It turns out that music offers a way.

Imagine sitting down at one of the world’s greatest concert halls. The conductor raises their baton and you begin to hear the complex story of 30 years of climate change in the polar regions — as expressed through instruments like violins, violas and cellos — that weaves in chapters of tense and plaintive music.