sound tagged posts

Coral reef health can be measured through sound

Coral reefs have complex soundscapes – created by fish and other creatures living there – which can be used by scientists to measure coral health. However, traditional acoustic surveys of reefs rely on labor-intensive methods which face significant difficulties in assessing reef health through the use of individual recordings. Now, a research team led by the University of Exeter has trained a computer algorithm using multiple recordings of both healthy and degraded reefs, allowing the machine to learn the difference. When fed new data, this algorithm was able to successfully identify reef health 92 percent of the time.    

“Coral reefs are facing multiple threats including climate change, so monitoring their health and the success of conservation projects is vital,” said stu...

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Climate Change Is Making Oceans Louder

A recent study suggests that warming oceans are increasing the speed at which sound travels, ultimately making underwater noises louder. The world’s oceans have absorbed more than 90 percent of the excess heat that humans have produced in recent decades, causing them to rapidly warm. And in these warmer waters, sound waves are able to travel faster and farther before fading out, making the ocean a noisier, louder place. This could be especially troubling for large mammals that rely on sound and use techniques like echolocation for communication and sensing their environment.

Using publicly available global data, the researchers calculated how salt levels, temperature, and depth in seawater affect sound...

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