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article imageIt`s Getting Loud In The Ocean

By KJ Mullins     Oct 3, 2008 in Science
As pollution increases our oceans are getting louder to the animals living there. Carbon dioxide levels rising makes the water warmer and more acidic, it also increases the sound volume.
The increase comes from burning fossil fuels. The higher rates of coal and oil being used in the last few decades has put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The oceans have also absorbed a huge amount of that extra carbon dioxide by about 40 per cent.
The acidic the water becomes the more it bubbles. Those bubbles alter the chemistry in the seawater changing the way it sounds as it moves. The sound changes are particularly more affected in the octaves two and a half above middle C according to researcher Keith Hester of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California.
It just so happens that most marine animals fall into that octave range. The underground sound of industry and ships in the water also have those octaves.
It is predicted by 2050 sounds will travel much farther in the ocean. The Atlantic Ocean seems to be the most affected. Hester believes in just over 40 years those sounds could be traveling 70 per cent farther than they are today.
When that happens marine life will have a real idea of what living in New York City sounds like.
More about Ocean, Carbon dioxide, Noise