The world is filled with sounds. From yelling kids to talking co-workers and political pundits, it’s hard to avoid the clamor of the modern world. We need more silence and quiet. But the lights around us are too bright and the noise is too high.
Did you know that the blue whale’s mating call can be heard hundreds of miles away? That is the loudest sound recorded, and it is made by a single animal! The volcano Krakatoa, which erupted in 1883 and caused a large amount of damage on the island, also created the loudest sound ever recorded: 180 decibels! In comparison, a one-ton TNT bomb would be at least 210 decibels! And a 5.0 Richter earthquake is at least 235 Decibels!
Scientists have found that infrasounds above 110 decibels affect the human body. They can alter blood pressure and respiratory rate, which can cause dizziness and balance problems. And a 1965 Air Force experiment showed that the loudest sounds made people’s chests move uncontrollably. Essentially, this means that atmospheric pressure changes act as artificial respiration.
It has been estimated that the average person in the developed world suffers from noise pollution. The sound level is increasing because more planes and cars are flying over the Earth. There are also more appliances, gadgets, and other sources of noise. Speakers and TVs are everywhere, and even open-plan offices are becoming more noisy. In fact, 450 million people in Europe live with dangerous noise levels.
Noise has become a serious problem in our modern society. It is linked to chronic health problems, including low quality sleep, increased blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. It also has an adverse effect on wildlife, which rely on a rich auditory landscape to avoid predators and identify their territories.
One example is the sound of a blue whale mating call, which can be heard from hundreds of miles away. Similarly, the Krakatoa volcano eruption caused massive damage to an island in the Pacific and created the loudest sound ever recorded at 180 decibels. In comparison, a one-ton TNT bomb would produce 210 decibels of noise, and a 5.0 Richter earthquake generates a decibel level of 235.
In response, a growing coalition of environmental organizations has formed to protect quiet places. Scientists have been working with the National Park Service to document where quiet has been lost, while local activists are petitioning policymakers to limit plane and helicopter flyovers near wilderness areas. Another example is the nonprofit Quiet Parks International, which is trying to draw public attention to the fragility of quiet and flag quiet areas for special protection.
Effects on wildlife
Noise pollution has a variety of effects on wildlife. For example, it can affect the way animals communicate, their ability to hunt and fend off predators, and their reproduction. For some species, noise can cause them to lose their habitat or fail to find mates. It can even alter the evolutionary trajectory of a population, resulting in extinction.
The noise pollution that we create can affect millions of different species. For example, millions of birds die every day in the United States alone. Despite a reduction in car noise, many species are still threatened by anthropogenic noise. These include birds, fish, insects, prairie dogs, and organisms without ears. In addition, noise pollution also disrupts the health of wildlife and damages their habitats.
Noise pollution is a growing problem for wildlife. Currently, over half of the world’s protected areas are impacted by noise from traffic and industry. Despite the fact that most people visit these areas to experience peace and quiet, the noise from road noise can prevent them from doing so.
Measurement of sound levels
The decibel scale is a logarithmic scale that is used in the measurement of sound pressure and energy. A higher decibel level represents louder sound. The dB scale has a wide range, from 0 to 120 dB. In general, the lower the decibel level, the quieter it is.
The most common unit for sound pressure is decibel. The 0 dB SPL represents the absence of sound, while 100 dB SPL represents the presence of sound. Sound pressure can be measured using a variety of methods. In this article, we’ll look at a few methods for measuring sound pressure levels.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard is based on the randomly incident sound wave, while international meters are based on a free field wave. However, in both cases, sound level meters will display a different number.