Noise Pollution In California

1717 Words7 Pages
It is well known that the human population has been polluting the land and oceans for years. Usually pollution is thought of as physical pieces of garbage, harmful chemical agents, or biological pollutants. However, another form of pollution that spreads across our oceans includes noise pollution from a variety of natural and man-made sources. Natural acoustic pollution can originate from sources such as earthquakes, lightning strikes, volcanic eruptions, and noise from other organisms in the water (Weilgart 2007). Wilson et al. found that wind-driven waves contribute to ocean noise (1985) while Nystuen and Farmer found precipitation to be a culprit as well (1987). This noise is of great concern to groups such as cetaceans, who utilize sound…show more content…
It was put in place to help study climate change, but after California residents were informed about anthropogenic noise pollution and its harmful effects, they opposed and the speaker near California was removed. (Weilgart 2007). However, this hasn’t stopped the input of noise into the world’s oceans. The military has been known to use sonar during naval exercises, which has been proven to cause tissue damage, vascular congestion, and hemorrhaging in beaked whales (Jepson…show more content…
In 2000, a mass stranding of whales in the Bahamas revealed hemorrhaging near the brain, ear, and fats in the head from a sonar used by the U.S. Navy during an exercise (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and US Department of the Navy 2001). In 2002, another stranding occurred in the Canary Islands and pathologists examined the bodies of stranded beaked whales to reveal hemorrhaging in the same areas of the head as the whales from the Bahamas, as well as in the kidneys (Fernández et al. 2005). Upon further inspection, there seemed to be other complications, such as lesions and embolisms, in the vessels and tissues surrounding organs. Fernandez et al. (2005) believes that sonar affects tissues saturated with nitrogen gas which then causes gas bubble lesions, similar to those that arise from decompression sickness associated with deep sea diving. With these observations, one of a few things could be occurring. The loud noise travelling through the water could cause whales to exhibit abnormal behavior such as ascending too fast in an attempt to escape the noise or staying in deep or shallow water for too long (Fernández et al. 2005). Once in shallow water, some whales may not be capable of swimming back to the deep ocean, leading to death by stranding or hyperthermia (Cox et al. 2006). Cox

More about Noise Pollution In California

Open Document