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Ocean noise: Study to measure the oceans’ ‘year of quiet’

Ocean noise: Study to measure the oceans’ ‘year of quiet’

Science
AlamyOcean scientists around the world are studying the "unique moment" of quiet created by the pandemic. The researchers have called their vast listening experiment: The year of the quiet ocean. "Lockdown slowed global shipping on a scale that would otherwise be impossible," explained Prof Peter Tyack from the University of St Andrews. The scientists plan to listen to the ocean soundscape before, during and after lockdown. They have identified 200 ocean hydrophones - underwater microphones that are already in place around the global ocean. "So the idea is to use those to measure the changes in noise and how they affect marine life - like calling whales or fish choruses," Prof Tyack said. "Just like people and cities may have noticed that, with much less traffic noise and human activity, ...
Noise pollution ‘drowns out ocean soundscape’

Noise pollution ‘drowns out ocean soundscape’

Science
Wegner Institute Noise from shipping, construction, sonar and seismic surveys is "drowning out" the healthy ocean soundscape, scientists say. And an "overwhelming body of evidence" has revealed the harm human-made noise does to marine life. "We've degraded habitats and depleted marine species," said Prof Carlos Duarte, who led the study, said."So we've silenced the soundtrack of the healthy ocean and replaced it with the sound that we create."Atlantic discovery: 12 new species in the deepTraffic noise impairs songbirds' abilitiesWriting in the journal Science, Prof Duarte, at King Abdullah University, Saudi Arabia, and his colleagues point out that sound waves can travel thousands of miles through the ocean. Alamy"Sound is a fundamental cue for feeding, navigation, communication and socia...
Traffic noise impairs songbirds’ abilities

Traffic noise impairs songbirds’ abilities

Science
Alan TranA test of songbirds' problem-solving skills has revealed how traffic noise impairs the animals' abilities. Scientists set zebra finches a "battery of foraging tasks" in the presence or absence of the noise. They found that the sound of passing cars diminished the birds' ability to find food. The results, published in the journal Proceedings B, suggest that noise pollution has "previously unconsidered consequences for wildlife".Victoria GillScientists examine the great 'human pause'How the blackest fish in the sea 'disappear'Prof Christopher Templeton from Pacific University in Oregon, US, led the study, which he carried out in a behavioural lab with zebra finches. The researchers set the birds the tasks both in a quiet setting and while a recording of road traffic was played. "Jus...
Stay-at-home orders cut noise exposure almost in half

Stay-at-home orders cut noise exposure almost in half

Science
Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Sometimes, living the quiet life is a choice. Other times, it's the reality of a global pandemic. New research suggests lockdowns and stay-at-home orders led to a dramatic reduction in noise exposure. For the study, published Friday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, scientists at the University of Michigan collected noise exposure data from volunteer Apple Watch wearers in Florida, New York, California and Texas. Advertisement "Volunteer participants opted to share environmental sound data from their Apple Watch and headphone sound data from their iPhone," researchers wrote. "Participants for this analysis were chosen from four states which exhibited diverse responses to COVID-19." Scientists analyzed more than half-a-million sound exposure measurements from b...
Whales are disturbed by engine noise from whale watching boats

Whales are disturbed by engine noise from whale watching boats

Science
June 16 (UPI) -- Whale watching vessels need to do more than keep their distance. New research suggests whales in need of peace and quiet are disturbed by the engine noise of encroaching boats. To get their patrons the best possible view, whale watching companies and the captains of their ships tend to position vessels as close as they can. Advertisement Policy makers and regulators have worked to develop rules to protect whales, mandating that whale watching vessels keep a certain distance away, travel at slow speeds and position themselves to the rear of whales. Previous studies suggest even boats keeping their distance can alter the behavior of whales. For the new study, scientists conducted a series of underwater sound tests to better understand the effects of engine noise on whale b...