The epidemic has slowed the exciting pace of human life, not just on land.
Peter Thiag, a professor at St Andrews University in Scotland, explains that locks and travel restrictions have reduced cargo traffic to some extent, otherwise it is “impossible” to achieve.
He was one of the researchers involved in a major experiment known as the “Year of the Pacific Oceans”.
Oceanographers from all over the planet have come together to study the impact of the “unique moment of silence” on marine life.
The purpose is to study oceanography before and after an epidemic.
To that end, 200 hydrophones – underwater acoustic sensors – are already distributed around the world and are being used in other research.
“The idea is to use them to measure differences in noise and how they affect marine life – such as whale calls or shoals,” says Dyke.
“With reduced vehicle rotation and human activity, we need tools to monitor this effect, just as city dwellers have realized that birds can hear more or see animals in their natural habitats. Equivalent in the oceans.”
The aim is not only to see the brief impact of epidemics on marine acoustics, but also to use the opportunity to assess how noise pollution, which has been increasing for decades, has affected the marine ecosystem.
The researchers hope that this study, along with other methods of monitoring animals through sensors, will reveal the depth to which noise in the “anthropocene seas” affects life.
“Pollution and climate change have had a major impact on the planet’s oceans – but the problem with noise is that it is relatively easy to reduce the level,” says the professor.
Jennifer Mixis-Olds, an oceanographer at the University of New Hampshire in the United States, says the amount of information gathered in the “Year of the Pacific Oceans” will allow analyzes beyond sound pollution.
“One of my goals is to create an acoustic map of the oceans, which can identify the sound of ships ‘tracks, see the whales’ migration patterns – from their angle – and better understand climate change based on the changes in the sounds produced. Through breaking glaciers.”
He says listening to the ocean can help find a balance between human activity and the natural processes of the oceans.
Scientific evidence suggests that over the decades, man-made noise has become more and more intertwined with natural ocean sounds. According to an important research study Recently published in “Science” magazine, Activities such as navigation in oil and gas areas, construction, military operation and underwater research “submerge” the natural acoustics of the ocean.
Fish larvae look at themselves based on the sounds made by corals as they search for a place to settle – Photo: Richard Brooks / Science Photo Library
The impacts manifest themselves in some dramatic episodes, i.e. massive strands of some type of whale, some studies related to sonar used by ships.
“But even fish larvae choose the best place to settle using the sound of corals,” says Dyke.
“As animals we are accustomed to seeing our distant senses as humans – we know where we are in the world. If you practiced snorkeling you know you can only see a few meters ahead, but you can hear things even miles away – even hundreds of miles away.”
“Marine life has created incredible ways to understand where this resource is in the environment and to find and communicate with prey.”
“We need to change our mindset – stop asking how much noise can be added to the ocean and look for ways to reduce it and repair the damage.”