Mapping noise in the ocean (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/12/10/science/1211-ocean.html?ref=science)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is currently documenting human-made noises in the ocean which they then hope to transform into the world's first large sound maps. The ocean visualizations use bright colors to symbolize the sounds radiating out through the oceanic depths, frequently over distances of hundreds of miles. The map above is one such example. The hotter colours (reds) are areas of higher noise while the cooler colours (blues) represent areas of less noise.
The impact of noise on marine mammals is something that is generally hard to quantify - even though we know it is increasing and having devastating effects. For an animal that relies on acoustics for its survival, a noisy ocean is not a great place to live. Imagine it.
To learn more about this study, read this article http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/science/project-seeks-to-map-and-reduce-ocean-noise-pollution.html?pagewanted=1&ref=science and make sure you listen to the sounds of the various sounds and the podcast on the left hand side of the page!