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Australian Climate Madness

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ocean noise (and climate change) killing whales

From the "Feeble link to Climate Change" department.
Underwater cacophony caused by commercial and military ships has become so intense that it is killing whales, according to scientists at the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Sounds ranging from the hum of yacht motors to sonar blasts strong enough to destroy a whale's inner ear are wreaking havoc on the ability of these cetaceans to migrate, feed and breed, they said on Thursday as a historic case began to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

But hang on, they haven't played the climate change joker yet... no, sorry, here it is:
Research published in the United States last week shows that climate change is amplifying the problem.

The acidification of oceans caused by rising sea temperatures reduces sound absorption in the water by up to 40 per cent, meaning that noise travels much further. "Ambient noise levels in the ocean ... are set to increase significantly," the study, published in the Geophysical Research Letters, concluded.

Read it here.

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