Scientists listening to marine mammals for effects of offshore wind farms

By on November 6, 2014

University of Maryland researchers have begun a new study to identify the potential effects of offshore wind farms on marine animals, according to a release by the university. Underwater microphones will be planted to record marine mammal vocals.

The study will last two years and will assist in planning for the offshore wind farms. Such farms have the potential to reduce carbon emissions, but scientists want to know they will affect marine animals.

One theory is that sound from wind farms — especially during construction — could injure animals or scare animals away from their habitats. On the other hand, the turbines could also function as artificial reefs, boosting food supplies and serving as living spaces.

Top image: Offshore wind farm. (Credit: Ashley Dance, via Geograph/CC BY 2.0)

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