Photo credit: Silver Leapers licensed under CC BY 2.0

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

As we have noted before, noise is bad for animals, including fishes and marine mammals. On land, for example, road traffic noise interferes with birds hearing mating calls or the calls of their hatchlings, with small mammals hearing approaching predators, with finding food by those animals who rely on their hearing to find a meal.

In the water, sound can be even more of a problem because it travels better in the denser medium, compared to air.

The effects of noise appear to be especially harmful to whales and dolphins, and The Guardian reports that in the Pacific Ocean military sonar use has been linked to whale beachings.

We hope that the incoming Biden administration will deal with this problem as part of its concern with the effects of humans on the environment.