How climate change is altering the underwater soundscape

The underwater isn’t silent, it’s as noisy as any jungle or rainforest – but climate change is dramatically changing the soundscape and the impact on the planet could be cataclysmic. Oceanographer Kate Stafford takes us on an auditory and visual journey, from the depths of the ocean and up to the surface with a clear message – to develop local solutions to reduce human-caused underwater noise.
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Kate Stafford: Oceanography

Kate Stafford suspects that the ocean’s babble holds many secrets about the globally changing environment. As an oceanographer at the University of Washington, she is recording the impact of the melting polar icecap by listening to the water that lies underneath. “Depending on the time of year, the seawater under the ice can be an acoustic cacophony of ice and animal noises,” Stafford said. “At other times, the underwater Arctic has some of the lowest ambient noise levels in the ocean.” With these underwater soundscapes, Stafford is able to extract the shifting migration patterns of whales, the invasion of non-native wildlife, and the hum and chug of new human activity in a once pristine and impenetrable territory. Kate has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Oceonography from Oregon State University

 

Read more: http://www.ocean.washington.edu/home/Kate+Stafford

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