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The noisy ocean: Humans have made the world's seas a very loud place to live – Yahoo News

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The ocean has become a very noisy place.

The world’s seas are much louder than they were in pre-industrial times, “becoming more and more a raucous cacophony as the noise from human activity has grown louder and more prevalent,” according to a study published Thursday.

The noise has had an impact on marine animals worldwide, affecting their behavior, physiology and, in some cases, their overall survivability. Higher ocean noise levels can reduce the ability of animals to communicate with potential mates, other group members, their offspring or their feeding partners, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

“Sounds travel very far underwater. For fish, sound is probably a better way to sense their environment than light,” said Francis Juanes, an ecologist at the University of Victoria in Canada and a co-author of the paper.

Noise can also reduce an ocean animal’s ability to hear environmental cues that are vital for survival, including those key to avoiding predators, finding food and navigating to preferred habitats, NOAA said.

The researchers sifted through thousands of data sets and research articles documenting changes in noise volume and frequency to assemble a comprehensive picture of how the ocean soundscape is changing – and how marine life is affected.

From the songs of whales to grinding arctic sea ice, the world’s oceans’ natural chorus is performed by a vast ensemble of geological and biological sounds, according to the study, which was led by Carlos Duarte, a marine ecologist at the Red Sea Research Center in Saudi Arabia.

For example, snapping shrimp make a sound resembling popping corn that stuns their prey. Humpback whale songs can resemble a violinist’s melodies.

But for more than a century, sounds from human activities on the high seas, such as fishing, shipping, recreational boating and development, have increasingly added to the mix, making modern oceans far noisier than ever before.

“For many marine species, their attempts to communicate are being masked by sounds that humans have introduced,” Duarte said.

That noise can travel long distances underwater, leading to increases and changes in ocean noise levels in many coastal and offshore habitats.

“This onslaught of noise, which far exceeds the Navy’s own safety limits for humans, can have a devastating effect on marine species – especially whales, who use their keen sense of hearing for almost everything they do,” the Center for Biological Diversity said.

A humpback whale and her calf.
A humpback whale and her calf.

The study maps out how underwater noise affects countless groups of marine life, including zooplankton and jellyfish, according to The New York Times. “The extent of the problem of noise pollution has only recently dawned on us,” study co-author Christine Erbe, director of the Center for Marine Science and Technology at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, told The Times.

Surprisingly, it’s not just noises added – human activities have also made some areas of the ocean quieter, the study found. For example, the deterioration of habitats such as coral reefs and the hunting of large marine mammals, including highly vocal whales, has led to drastic declines in the abundance of sound-producing animals.

In addition, the loss of sea ice because of the planet’s rapidly warming climate has drastically altered the natural acoustics of arctic marine environments.

“When people think of threats facing the ocean, we often think of climate change, plastics and overfishing. But noise pollution is another essential thing we need to be monitoring,” said Neil Hammerschlag, a University of Miami marine ecologist, who was not involved with the paper.

There is hope, however: The study authors argue that the harmful effects of noise pollution could rapidly decline through the mitigation and regulation of sources of marine noise.

“Changing ocean soundscapes have become the neglected ‘elephant in the room’ of global ocean change,” the study authors write. “In an era when societies increasingly look to the ‘blue economy’ as a source of resources and wealth, it is essential that ocean soundscapes be responsibly managed to ensure the sustainable use of the ocean.”

The study was published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ocean noise: Humans have made seas a very loud place to live

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Dusty demise for NASA Mars lander in July; power dwindling – CGTN

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A NASA spacecraft on Mars is headed for a dusty demise. 

The InSight lander is losing power because of all the dust on its solar panels. NASA said Tuesday it will keep using the spacecraft’s seismometer to register marsquakes until the power peters out, likely in July. Then flight controllers will monitor InSight until the end of this year, before calling everything off. 

“There really hasn’t been too much doom and gloom on the team. We’re really still focused on operating the spacecraft,” said Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Bruce Banerdt, the principal scientist. 

Since landing on Mars in 2018, InSight has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes; the biggest one, a magnitude 5, occurred two weeks ago. 

It will be NASA’s second Mars lander lost to dust: A global dust storm took out Opportunity in 2018. In InSight’s case, it’s been a gradual gathering of dust, especially over the past year.

NASA’s two other functioning spacecraft on the Martian surface – rovers Curiosity and Perseverance – are still going strong thanks to nuclear power. The space agency may rethink solar power in the future for Mars, said planetary science director Lori Glaze, or at least experiment with new panel-clearing tech or aim for the less-stormy seasons.

InSight currently is generating one-tenth of the power from the sun that it did upon arrival. Deputy project manager Kathya Zamora Garcia said the lander initially had enough power to run an electric oven for one hour and 40 minutes; now it’s down to 10 minutes max. 

The InSight team had anticipated this much dust buildup, but hoped a gust of wind or dust devil might clean off the solar panels. That has yet to happen, despite several thousand whirlwinds coming close. 

“None of them have quite hit us dead-on yet enough to blow the dust off the panels,” Banerdt told reporters. 

Another science instrument, dubbed the mole, was supposed to burrow 16 feet (5 meters) underground to measure the internal temperature of Mars. But the German digger never got deeper than a couple of feet (a half-meter) because of the unexpected composition of the red dirt, and it finally was declared dead at the beginning of last year.

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Blood moon, big city: Skywatcher captures total lunar eclipse over New York (photos) – Space.com

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The eclipsed moon burns red high above the bright lights of New York City in gorgeous photos captured by amateur astronomer Alexander Krivenyshev.

Krivenyshev, the president of WorldTimeZone.com, snapped images of the total lunar eclipse on Sunday night (May 15) from Guttenberg, New Jersey, which is across the Hudson River from the Big Apple. 

He persevered through cloudy conditions, Krivenyshev told Space.com via email, to get shots of the blood-red moon shining like a beacon in a light-polluted sky.

Related: Amazing photos of the Super Flower Blood Moon of 2022

A closeup of the eclipsed moon on May 15, 2022, as photographed by Alexander Krivenyshev. (Image credit: Alexander Krivenyshev, WorldTimeZone.com)

The eclipse began at 9:32 p.m EDT on Sunday (0132 GMT on May 16) when the moon nosed into the light part of Earth’s shadow, known as the penumbra, and ended five hours later. The total eclipse phase, in which the moon was completely darkened by Earth’s heavier umbral shadow, lasted 85 minutes, the longest of any lunar eclipse in 33 years.

Earth’s nearest neighbor temporarily turns a coppery red during total lunar eclipses. This “blood moon” effect is caused by Earth’s atmosphere, which bends some red light onto the lunar surface while scattering away shorter-wavelength light. (No sunlight is hitting the moon directly at this point, of course; Earth is blocking the sun from the moon’s perspective.)

Another series of shots of the total lunar eclipse over New York City, photographed by Alexander Krivenyshev on May 15, 2022.  (Image credit: Alexander Krivenyshev, WorldTimeZone.com)

Related stories:

Last weekend’s sky show was best observed from the Americas and parts of Western Europe and West Africa. It was the first total lunar eclipse of the year, but it won’t be the last; another one will occur on Nov. 8. The Nov. 8 lunar eclipse will be best observed from Australia, eastern Asia and the western United States. 

If you’re hoping to photograph the moon, or want to prepare for the next total lunar eclipse, check out our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography. Our guides on how to photograph a lunar eclipse, and how to photograph the moon with a camera, also have some helpful tips to plan out your lunar photo session.

Editor’s Note: If you snap an amazing lunar eclipse photo (or your own eclipse webcast) and would like to share it with Space.com’s readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to spacephotos@space.com.

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.  

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NASA's Mars InSight mission coming to an end as dust covers solar panels – CBC News

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A NASA spacecraft on Mars is headed for a dusty demise.

The Insight lander is losing power because of all the dust on its solar panels. NASA said Tuesday it will keep using the spacecraft’s seismometer to register marsquakes until the power peters out, likely in July. Then flight controllers will monitor InSight until the end of this year, before calling everything off.

“There really hasn’t been too much doom and gloom on the team. We’re really still focused on operating the spacecraft,” said Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Bruce Banerdt, the principal scientist.

Since landing on Mars in 2018, InSight has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes; the biggest one, a magnitude 5, occurred two weeks ago.

It will be NASA’s second Mars lander lost to dust: A global dust storm took out Opportunity in 2018. In InSight’s case, it’s been a gradual gathering of dust, especially over the past year.

WATCH | NASA scientists discuss InSight’s goals on Mars: [embedded content]

Rethinking solar power

NASA’s two other functioning spacecraft on the Martian surface — rovers Curiosity and Perseverance — are still going strong thanks to nuclear power.

The space agency may rethink solar power in the future for Mars, said planetary science director Lori Glaze, or at least experiment with new panel-clearing tech or aim for the less-stormy seasons.

InSight currently is generating one-tenth of the power from the sun that it did upon arrival.

Deputy project manager Kathya Zamora Garcia said the lander initially had enough power to run an electric oven for one hour and 40 minutes; now it’s down to 10 minutes max.

The InSight team anticipated this much dust buildup, but hoped a gust of wind or a dust devil might clean off the solar panels. That has yet to happen, despite several thousand whirlwinds coming close.

“None of them have quite hit us dead-on yet enough to blow the dust off the panels,” Banerdt told reporters.

Another science instrument, dubbed the mole, was supposed to burrow five metres underground to measure the internal temperature of Mars. But the German digger never got deeper than a half-metre because of the unexpected composition of the red dirt, and it finally was declared dead at the beginning of last year.

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