This past Sunday there was a short blurb in the NY Times based on the recent National Geographic piece on human contributions to ocean noise. Check it out at:
Dolphins to Boats: Put a Cork in It
Published: February 19, 2011
Noise has increased a hundredfold in many parts of the ocean over the last 50 years, according to National Geographic, a result of dramatic growth in shipping and other human activities. The problem is getting steadily worse for another reason. Seawater is absorbing less sound as carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel burning seeps into the ocean and acidifies it. “For many of these animals it’s as if they live in cities,” Brandon Southall, a marine scientist, says of the din. The noise has led to changes in foraging, calling and migration patterns among many species of whales and dolphins.
In one effort to reduce the din, 10 research buoys floating in Massachusetts Bay are now allowing researchers to share real-time data on whale locations with tanker captains, who can slow down their ships or alter course to avoid whales.