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The coronavirus pandemic has brought chaos to lives and economies around the world. But efforts to curb the spread of the virus might mean that the planet itself is moving a little less. Researchers who study Earth’s movement are reporting a drop in seismic noise — the hum of vibrations in the planet’s crust — that could be the result of transport networks and other human activities being shut down. They say this could allow detectors to spot smaller earthquakes and boost efforts to monitor volcanic activity and other seismic events.
The Oceans Are Probably Quieter, Too
For other species, less noise pollution is no doubt welcome. Michelle Fournet, a marine ecologist at Cornell who studies acoustic environments, is hoping to position underwater microphones off the coast of Alaska and Florida, where she has studied humpback whales and other marine life, to investigate how the waters have changed in the absence of noise from cruise ships as the industry suspends operations worldwide. “Just pulling those cruise ships out of the water is going to reduce the amount of global ocean noise almost instantaneously,” Fournet told me. “We’re experiencing an unprecedented pause in ocean noise that probably hasn’t been experienced in decades.”
But to think that life will be back to normal in about a month is way-over-optimistic...
April 3 (GMT)
565 new cases and 28 new deaths in the United States
April 2 (GMT)
29874 new cases and 968 new deaths in the United States
April 1 (GMT)
alert 26473 new cases and 1049 new deaths in the United States