The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has published research showing that snapping shrimp are sounding a warning about global warming.
In a paper published in Frontiers in Marine Science, researchers found a direct correlation between the volume and frequency of the sounds made by two species of snapping shrimp and sea temperature.
Typically, the shrimp use the sounds to orient and navigate themselves around the coastlines. The sound, which is a continuous popping that sounds like sizzling bacon, is so loud that it is known to interfere with fish finders and sonar.
According to Ashlee Lillis, principal scientist at Sound Ocean Science and a WHOI guest investigator:
“These shrimp are the most ubiquitous sound producer in the ocean, and now we have evidence that temperature has a huge impact on their behavior and the overall soundscape…That’s relevant to everything from migrating whales to larvae trying to use the soundscape, or humans who use the sea for extractive or military purposes.”
While fellow WHOI marine ecologist T. Aran Mooney stated:
“Climate change is impacting the marine soundscape in fundamental ways…Warming waters can influence how animals are physically able to communicate and use sound to reproduce and attract mates. We don’t yet know what happens to the ecosystem when background noise levels are higher, but there are far-reaching implications.”
You can find the original study here.