Media briefing: Listening to a quieter ocean during the pandemic

American Geophysical Union to host briefing on ocean sound research December 9
December 7, 2020
Growth in shipping traffic is a key contributor to the increase in chronic background underwater noise that can affect marine mammals like the whales shown here.

A temporary slowdown of global maritime commerce during the pandemic has opened a rare window into how a relatively quieter ocean may affect marine life.

This week’s American Geophysical Union Fall meeting (#AGU20) is hosting a media briefing on Wednesday, December 9, on a NOAA and partner scientific effort to stitch together existing underwater listening devices to learn more about how marine species may be affected by a relatively quieter ocean. 

NOAA, the National Park Service and a university scientist will discuss their ongoing research which is assessing how reduced shipping, fishing, tourism and ocean development may be affecting marine mammals and other marine life. This research is expected to aid ongoing international efforts to mitigate the long term growth of human-caused ocean noise, which can impact the diversity, health, behavior and well-being of marine life. 


Media briefing: Listening to a quieter ocean during the pandemic


Wednesday, December 9, from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. ET


AGU Virtual Press Conference Roomoffsite link


Jason Gedamke, fisheries biologist, NOAA Fisheries

Christine Gabriele, wildlife biologist, Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve 

Bob Dziak, research oceanographer, NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

Ana Širović, associate professor, Texas A&M-Galveston

Leila Hatch, marine ecologist, NOAA Sanctuaries


How to attend the virtual briefing

Reporters who register for AGU meeting can watch the media briefing in real time and ask questions via an online chat. 

For more information and instructions on how to view the media briefing, visit the AGU media briefing announcement "Listening to a quieter oceanoffsite link" found on AGU’s Fall Meeting Media Center Events pageoffsite link.

To register for the AGU meeting, visit AGU’s registration pageoffsite link.

Media contact

Monica Allen, (202) 379-6693