NOISE/NOTES (Sept 2018)

By Eoin A. King, NNI Editor, and Eva Von Dell, NNI Social Media Assistant

NNI is on Facebook and Twitter—we try to keep our readers informed with noise news from all across the globe by highlighting interesting research and projects. Here is a roundup of some of the stories that have been making headlines. Follow @NNIEditor or our Facebook page to stay up to date with all noise-related news.

Noise Reduction Research to Help Whales
In Ottawa, the federal government announced $26.6 million in funding for research to help better understand how noise impacts marine mammals. The funding will support gliders equipped with hydrophones to detect the presence of whales and track how they move through the area.

Throwback to 1970s Noise Monitoring
Citylab recently featured a clip from a 1974 video about noise pollution, released by the (now-defunct) Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, in the United States. It was released as an attempt to raise awareness about noise at the time. It features a high school student, Annette Cook, taking sound-level readings in Atlanta, Georgia.

Birds Can Learn New Languages to Stay Safe!
A new study shows that at least one species of bird (the fairy wren) can learn to associate new calls with known alarm calls, without having to see the callers or a predator. The study, performed by researchers from the Australian National University and the University of Bristol, was published in the journal Current Biology earlier this year.

The Noisiest Neighborhoods in New York
In an earlier issue of NNI, we had a feature detailing the national transportation noise map and showed how noise levels vary across the continental United States. More recently, the New York Times reported on an analysis of noise complaints in the city to determine the noisiest neighborhoods in NYC.

Improved Hearing in Swedish 70-Year-Olds
A recent study published in Age and Ageing showed that older adults in Sweden are hearing better than they were 40 years ago. This was part of the H70 study, which is a large-scale population-based investigation, initiated in the early 1970s, aiming to study medical and social aspects of ageing. The authors found that the largest improvements were seen at 4–6 kHz in men; they suggest that this possibly reflects a decrease in occupational noise exposure.