New research, to be presented at the Acoustical Society of America in Kansas City this week, uncovers predictions that global warming may be altering ocean sounds, taking them back to the acoustics of 110 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
More specifically the research suggests that sounds, such as whale noises in the low-frequency sound range, by the year 2100 will be able to travel twice as far as they do at present; which is comparable to what it was like during the dinosaur age.
The cause of this is argued to be global warming. With rising temperatures, the acidity of oceans increases and thus allow sounds near the surface to travel farther, says Rhode Island acoustician David G. Browning.
According to Browning, this finding carries significance in many ways: “It impacts the design and performance prediction of sonar systems. It affects estimation of low-frequency ambient noise levels in the ocean. And it’s something we have to consider to improve our understanding of the sound environment of marine mammals and the effects of human activity on that environment.”