Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ocean acidification poses little threat to whales’ hearing, study suggests

Date:
October 13, 2010
Source:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Summary:
Contrary to some previous, highly publicized, reports, ocean acidification is not likely to worsen the hearing of whales and other animals, according to a scientist who studies sound propagation in the ocean.

Low-frequency sound waves in the ocean cause borate to lose an -OH group and become boric acid (top). In the process, the sound waves lose energy. An identical sound wave has no effect on boric acid (bottom). More-acidic conditions reduce the amount of borate in seawater, which led some researchers to suggest that ocean acidification will lead to less absorption of sound energy, allowing sound waves to travel farther in the ocean than they do at present. WHOI scientists showed that the effect will be minimal.
Credit: Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Contrary to some previous, highly publicized, reports, ocean acidification is not likely to worsen the hearing of whales and other animals, according to a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientist who studies sound propagation in the ocean.

Tim Duda, of WHOI's Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department, undertook a study in response to warnings that as the ocean becomes more acidic -- due to elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2)--noise from ships will be able to travel farther and possibly interfere with whales and other animals that rely on sound to navigate, communicate, and hunt.

Duda and WHOI scientists Ilya Udovydchenkov, Scott Doney, and Ivan Lima, along with colleagues at the Naval Postgraduate School, designed mathematical models of sound propagation in the oceans. Their models found that the increase would be, at most, 2 decibels by the year 2100 -- a negligible change compared with noise from natural events such as storms and large waves. Noise levels are predicted to change even less than this in higher-noise areas near sources such as shipping lanes, Duda said.

Their work is published in the September 2010 issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ilya A. Udovydchenkov, Timothy F. Duda, Scott C. Doney, and Ivan D. Lima. Modeling deep ocean shipping noise in varying acidity conditions. J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 128 EL130 (2010) [link]

Cite This Page:

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. "Ocean acidification poses little threat to whales’ hearing, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101011215015.htm>.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. (2010, October 13). Ocean acidification poses little threat to whales’ hearing, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101011215015.htm
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. "Ocean acidification poses little threat to whales’ hearing, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101011215015.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins