Friday, July 9, 2010

Our Noisy Oceans

We all know the difficulty of making ourselves heard in loud areas like restaurants, airports, malls and at sporting events, but did you know that even the oceans are getting louder?

This article from 80beats, a blog on Discovery Magazine's website, details a small study done on 14 whales, which measured the background noise in the ocean and then compared how whales raised their voices to compensate for the loud sounds. According to the study, the background noise of the ocean was between 92-143 decibels, and in some cases whales were "shouting" up to 150 decibels to be heard.
Underwater world
The study brings up concerns about human impact on the noise of the ocean. According to the lead researcher, Susan Parks, "The ability to change vocalizations to compensate for environmental noise is critical for successful communication in an increasingly noisy ocean."

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