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Sound Pollution. Human noise drowns out song of whales. principal component of the hydrosphere 71% of the Earth's surface (an area of some 361 million square kilometers) most dramatic forms of weather occurs over the oceans: tropical cyclones

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sound pollution

Sound Pollution

Human noise drowns out song of whales

about our oceans
principal component of the hydrosphere

71% of the Earth's surface (an area of some 361 million square kilometers)

most dramatic forms of weather occurs over the oceans: tropical cyclones

Ocean currents greatly affect the Earth's climate by transferring warm or cold air and precipitation to coastal regions, where they may be carried inland by winds (climate equalizer)

essential to transportation: most of the world's goods are moved by ship between the world's seaports

important source of valuable food items for the fishing industry

Source of recreation

And most recently a source of energy through tidal turbines

About our oceans
problems facing our ocean
Water pollution (run off from cities and agricultural land, oil spills, illegal dumping, ect.)

General warming of the ocean

Slowing of ocean currents causing dead seas

Over fishing

Destruction of coral reefs and costal habitats due to commercial fishing and shipping

Increase of CO2

Increase of UV rays harming marine life because of ozone depletion

All of these are killing marine species but “sound pollution” kills our least known about marine mammal painfully

Problems facing our ocean
what is sound pollution and where does it come from
What is sound pollution and where does it come from?
  • Otherwise known as noise pollution
  • Remember when the clerk in the pet store told you not to tap on the fish tank, because the sound disturbs the fish?
  • Underwater noise can adversely effect marine life, particularly the mid-frequency
  • This is caused by high intensity sonar systems used by U.S. Navy ships and submarines, commercial shipping and seismic surveys
  • indirect source of noise pollution; climate change, which is altering the chemistry of the oceans and making sound travel farther through sea water
  • seismic test, used to locate hydrocarbons beneath the seabed, can spread 3,000 kilometers under water
  • rising levels of carbon dioxide are increasing the acidity of the Earth's oceans, making sound travel 10% farther through sea water than a few centuries ago
  • could increase to 70 percent by 2050 if greenhouse gases are not cut
how this affects marine mammals
How this affects marine mammals?
  • Mainly affects whales and dolphins others are not known about well
  • interferes with ability to navigate, find food, communicate and avoid predators
  • “Cocktail party affect”
  • Once able to communicate over thousands of miles (kilometers) to forage and mate and are now losing touch with each other
  • Military sonar or seismic testing may scare them into diving and surfacing beyond their physical limits
  • Induce a condition similar to DCS
  • Tissue damage due to DCS
  • Certain high frequency noises can damage their hearing
  • Causes whales to do things they would not normally do like stop singing, divert from their migratory paths and beach themselves
  • Several species already listed as endangered or critically endangered from other causes, including hunting, chemical pollution, collisions with boats and entanglements with fishing equipment.
  • Sound pollution is increasingly being recognized as another serious factor
  • A study found that the blue whale, which used to communicate across entire oceans, has lost 90 percent of its range over the last 40 years.
  • Otherwise known as strandings
related articles
In the last nine years there have been 10 cases of mass strandings and whale deaths associated with mid-frequency sonar testing in the coastal waters from Greece to the Canary Islands

Researchers from the Zoological Society of London and the University of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands have found nitrogen bubbles in the tissues of stranded whales which exhibited the same effects as those of decompression sickness (DCS) in humans. "The detailed examination of the mass stranded whales in the Canaries in 2002 suggests the naval sonar could induce a condition similar to DCS,” Professor Antonio Fernandez of the University of Las Palmas said.

In early July 2004, a pod of 200 deep-water melon-headed whales stampeded into the shallow waters off Kauai, Hawaii, during U.S.-Japanese naval training exercises utilizing the high intensity sonar. In the confusion, one of the whales was stranded and died.

2008: beaching of more than 100 melon-headed whales in Madagascar and that of two dozen common dolphins on the southern British coast.

US Navy Sued in Hawaii by Environmentalist Groups; Lawsuit Attempts to Stop US Navy Sonar Exercises

Active Sonar was believed to have caused a massive beaching of Beaked Whales off the coast of Greece in 1996. NATO had been testing their Active Sonar System at the time, which only goes to confirm the risks of doing so.

In 2000, a U.S. Navy Battle Group used Active Sonar in the area where several whales of four different species beached themselves in the Bahamas. At first the Navy denied their Sonar Technology was to blame until their own investigation found severe acoustic trauma had caused hemorrhaging around the whales' eyes and ears. A study by the government concluded with much certainty that the whales' injuries were caused by mid-frequency sonar that ships in the area had been using. Marine Scientists believe that whales' and dolphins often times beach themselves after being injured by the sonar.

Related articles
what is being done
Natural Resources Defense Council and a coalition of three other environmental and animal rights groups, won a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy

Navy agreed to scale back the use of low-frequency wave technology

Representatives of more than 100 governments are gathered in Rome for a meeting of the U.N.-backed Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. The agenda of the conference, which ended Friday December 12th, includes ways to increase protection for endangered species, including measures to mitigate underwater noise

Conference discussing a resolution that would oblige countries to reduce sound pollution

What is being done?
what will happen if nothing is done
What will happen if nothing is done?
  • Without practical restrictions, the rise of high intensity sonar will cause agonizing pain, injury and death for a growing number of marine animals
  • Further endangerment of cetaceans and possibly extinction for others
my thoughts
My thoughts
  • I obviously believe that sound pollution is not a good thing like all forms of pollution it harms living things but first it causes intense pain before a slow death
  • My idea for solutions for this problem include:
  • rerouting shipping around marine habitats and installing quieter engines
  • Cutting speed and banning tests of sonar in areas known to be inhabited by the endangered animals.
  • Zoological Society of London