Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, March 27, 2006

More Bad Anti-Sonar Propaganda

An article in the Honolulu Advertiser about the upcoming RIMPAC exercise and concerns about sonar use contains the same misinformation about relative sonar noise levels that I discussed last October. From the article:

"The Defense Council described active military sonar as acting like a floodlight, emitting sound waves, or pings, that sweep across tens or even hundreds of miles of ocean, and revealing objects in that path from the bounceback. Passive sonar listens for sound.
"The environmental group said the Navy's low-frequency system can generate 215 decibels — sound as intense as a twin-engine jetfighter at takeoff.
"Some mid-frequency systems produce 235 decibels, as loud as a Saturn V rocket at launch, it said."

As I discussed, airborne and waterborne reference levels are completely different, so the comparisons are worthless. Given that humpback whale song runs about 190 dB, which is the new Navy proposed limit, I'm not sure that there's as big a need for concern about marine mammals as the conservationists would have us believe.

Update 0027 30 March: From Navy NewsStand, an analysis of the likelihood that active sonar contributed to the whale stranding off North Carolina in January 2005. Their conclusion, based on the fact that the sonar use was 2-3 days before the beaching, among other things, was that it was unlikely that sonar played a role.


Blogger Chap said...

When the cited expert is a spokesman for a group with an agenda, the report skews to the agenda.

So we're screwed yet again.

3/27/2006 1:22 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

There is really no excuse for poor science these days, other than to suit political agenda that cannot succeed otherwise. If we were really harming cetaceans routinely, we could and would find solutions.

3/27/2006 3:33 PM

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