Describe the Arctic sounds you conjure up when you consider the Arctic and Antarctic.
Two marine acoustic laboratories have released a variety of noises, including “singing” ice, a seal that Arctic sounds like it is in space, and a seismic airgun that thunders like a bomb.
As part of this initiative, fifty unique sounds captured in the polar regions’ depths will be made available for the first time.
An increase in human activity that also affects marine life is highlighted, illustrating the growing problem of ocean noise.
Artist and researcher Dr. Geraint Rhys Whittaker says, “These noises are very strange to most people.”
“We probably assume we know what the poles sound like, but often that is imagined,” Dr. Whittaker from the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity and the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany said.
The underwater microphones were deployed for almost two years in the Arctic and Antarctic, where they were coupled to floats carrying scientific gear.
Among the recordings were calls from the least-studied Antarctic seal. Ross seals inhabit remote oceanic regions and inaccessible pack ice. Five separate calls, all at different frequencies, were captured by the scientists.
Aside from humpback whales and crabeater seals, we also spotted minke whales, narwhals, and humpbacks.
Due to the harsh conditions and long distances animals must travel, recording these Arctic sounds can be challenging.
Problems arise, as Dr. Whittaker puts it, because “you can’t count on where the mammals will be” because they are constantly on the go.
Rising temperatures associated with climate change are speeding up the process of ice shelf collapse, which has been documented.
Included in this compilation is the soft “singing” of ice. Moving ice in water, the expansion and contraction of ice as a result of changes in temperature, and the melting and refretting of ice all play a role in this phenomenon.
Temperature increases in 2022 are most severe in Europe and the polar regions.
He thinks that hearing the noises will prompt people to reflect on the arctic oceans, as Dr. Whittaker argues that few people read scientific material produced by universities. The oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and are vital to the survival of all species here, but they are also being hit hard by global warming.
This rate of warming in the Arctic is four times the global average.