Show Details

Underwater Soundscapes

September 23, 2013

Microphone arrays around the North Pacific allow scientists to listen to the diversity of life under the sea.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Listening to the ocean. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Simone Baumann-Pickering lowers a microphone array into the Pacific Ocean. (Susanne Bard)

Aboard a research vessel, Scripps Institution of Oceanography biologist Simone Baumann-Pickering and her team lower an array of microphones into the Pacific Ocean. Then, they listen to the diversity of ocean life.

(SFX: Pogo fish/ocean forest)

HIRSHON:

Recording ocean sounds allows scientists to characterize the species living in different parts of the ocean and to monitor ocean health. In addition to actively listening, Baumann-Pickering says they’ve also set up passive acoustic monitoring stations up and down the North Pacific.

SIMONE BAUMANN-PICKERING (Scripps Institution of Oceanography):

The strength of these long-term acoustic recordings is we’re getting the full breadth of anything that produces a sound, so each ecosystem is going to have its own soundscape, and you’re going to be able to put together all the different puzzle pieces of that soundscape.

HIRSHON:

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.