Noise pollution is threatening life in the 'Anthropocene ocean'

A new paper explores how noise from human activities pollutes the oceans, and what we can do to fix it.

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  • The new paper notes three major factors that have changed the ocean soundscape: human activity, climate change, and "massive declines in the abundance of sound-producing animals."
  • Noise pollution threatens marine animals because many rely on sound to communicate with each other and sense predators and prey.
  • The paper noted several solutions for decreasing human-caused noise pollution, including floating wind turbines and quieter boat propellers.
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2020 ties for hottest year on record, says NASA and NOAA

In a joint briefing at the 101st American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, NASA and NOAA revealed 2020's scorching climate data.

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  • 2020 is tied with 2016 for being globally the hottest year on record.
  • The year's hotspot included the Arctic, which is warming at three times the global mean.
  • The United States endured a record-breaking year for billion-dollar natural disasters.
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    Japanese researchers hope to launch a satellite made of wood in 2023

    The satellite would burn instead of becoming more space debris.

    Credit: Rumman Amin via Unsplash/Peter Jurik via Adobe Stock/Big Think
    • Orbiting around Earth are hundreds of thousands of bits of space debris.
    • Some of this stuff comes plummeting down eventually, but not enough of it.
    • Wood satellites would burn up in the atmosphere without falling on anyone or anything.
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    Microplastics have been found in human placenta

    More evidence that we're drowning in microplastic particles.

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    • Italian researchers have discovered microplastic particles in human placenta.
    • Out of six collected placentas, four contained colored plastic microparticles.
    • That petrochemical pollutants are present in such a critically important organ is alarming.
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    Skyborne whales: The rise (and fall) of the airship

    Can passenger airships make a triumphantly 'green' comeback?

    R. Humphrey/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

    Large airships were too sensitive to wind gusts and too sluggish to win against aeroplanes. But today, they have a chance to make a spectacular return.

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