Delicate chords echo from towering glacier walls. A steely sea churns against jagged chunks of floating ice. And bobbing on a platform in the frigid water, pianist Ludovico Einaudi plays a foreboding melody.

Einaudi playing piano image

Einaudi wrote his piece, “Elegy for the Arctic,” as a call to action, and Greenpeace arranged for a videotaped performance in front of a melting glacier in Svalbard, Norway.

The goal was to raise awareness of the need to protect the rapidly changing Arctic.

Einaudi: “The ice is constantly moving and creating. Every hour there is a different landscape. Walls of ice fall down into the water and they create big waves.”

As ice from the melting glacier crashes down behind Einaudi, his performance mournfully reminds us of the impacts of global warming.

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At times dark and intense, the melody tapers off with a delicateness that seems to suggest it’s both time to grieve for what is lost and fix what we still can.

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Reporting credit: Rosie Simon/ChavoBart Digital Media.
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Sara Peach is the editor-in-chief of Yale Climate Connections. She is an environmental journalist whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Scientific American, Environmental Health News, Grist,...