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Making Waves
He's Got the World in His Hands
Din the Depths
Scalable City
Polyprophylene Pyramid
Sodatron
Red Revolution On I-15
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Features May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2
   

Din in the Depths

 
     

“Turn down that infernal noise!” If you’ve ever hurled that phrase at your teenagers or the rackety neighbor, consider for a moment the increased din our oceans have to suffer.

A new study out of Scripps Institution of Oceanography has shown that ocean noise has increased tenfold since the 1960s. John Hildebrand and his colleagues tapped into U.S. Navy acoustic readings taken off Southern California in the mid-1960s. Recently the researchers revisited the same area, near San Nicolas Island, and recorded sound levels.

“We’ve demonstrated that the ocean is a lot noisier now than it was 40 years ago . . . by a factor of 10,” says Hildebrand. He believes the increase may be a byproduct of the vast increase in global shipping. This has resulted in more ships with increased propulsion power, traveling at ever faster speeds.

Hildebrand and his coauthors say the rise in noise level could be happening across the entire Northeast Pacific Ocean. “It’s not known,” he says, “what impact such an increase might be having on marine animals.” Perhaps they’d like us to “turn it down!”

Contributors to Making Waves: Mario Aguilera, '89, Marnette Federis, '06, Beverly Gallagher, '98, Raymond Hardie and Inga Kiderra.

 

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"We’ve demonstrated that the ocean is a lot noisier now than it was 40 years ago  . . . by a factor of 10,” says Hildebrand."