Sounds for GCSE conference

Dawn in a rural area in Queensland followed by dawn in a city in Queensland

In this pair of recordings we hear the effects that land-use change has on biodiversity. The rural area (a mix of forest, farms, and human settlement) has a very rich soundscape but the city center has lost most of its sonic diversity. Yet, the city’s efficiencies also make possible richer soundscapes elsewhere.

Toadfish and shrimp swamped by engine noise

Many marine animals communicate by sound. Here we hear the sounds of fish and shrimp, then swamped by the noise of an engine. Noise interacts with chemical and other changes in the oceans to cause population declines.

Eurasian blackbird singing above noise in Paris

Some birds have adapted their songs to the city. Eurasian blackbirds, for example, sing higher and louder amid the sounds of the city, vaulting their songs over the low rumble of human noise.

Western Amazon with distant machinery

The rich sounds of the western Amazon rainforest, the most biodiverse place known on Earth, mix with the rumble of machinery from oil exploration. (Note: low frequency rumbles will not be heard on small laptop speakers. Headphones recommended.)

Meltwater from rapidly disappearing glacier     

Ice-cold water flows over cobble in the southern Partnach River in Germany. We’re hearing the last days of the Schneeferner glacier, now reduced to a fraction of its former size.

Windmill water pump on droughted grassland

The rhythmic sounds of a windmill on Colorado high prairie. Overgrazing and fracking have degraded biodiversity and hydrological cycles.

Copyright 2022 David George Haskell.