Noise Pollution Now “Easy to See”

Written by on December 13, 2012 in Marine Life, Technology

Sonar from the military, air guns from oil exploration, and the constant grumble from commercial ships have made our oceans a loud place. For whales, dolphins and other marine creatures that use sound as a way to communicate and find food, the anthropogenic noises are a big problem.

In an attempt to fight this, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began a project to map out all human-made noises in the ocean. The project began in 2010 and the first phase is almost completed. The goal is simple–to better understand the impact of noise on marine mammals in order to fight against it.

Many maps have been made public already. They use bright colors ranging from red to blue to show where noise levels are the highest.

“It’s a first step,” said Leila T. Hatch, a marine biologist and one of the project’s two directors. “No one’s ever done it on this scale.”

To find out more about the project, check out this great article from the NY Times: A Rising Tide of Noise Is Now Easy to See.

Common dolphin.

Common dolphin. Photo credit: NOAA.

To learn more about noise pollution, check out these related articles:

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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  1. Savetheoceans says:

    Well if Japan continues their brutal crusade against those gentle giants we won’t have to worry about noise pollution for them… I can not believe they began another whaling season- when will this madness end??