The race is on to figure out how to protect the ocean abyss as deep-sea mining operations look to extract minerals like nickel, cobalt, and copper from the sea floor. But there’s one potential risk to the deep-sea environment that tends to fall under the radar.
Not only will mining dredge up the seafloor, but it’ll also create a lot of noise that poses its own problems for marine life, according to a newly published paper in the journal Science.
People have talked about mining the deep sea for minerals for decades, and that future is almost here. Driven by a need for more of the minerals used in everyday gadgets and batteries, the first efforts to raid polymetallic nodules at the bottom of the ocean for these resources could begin in earnest as soon as next year.
The noise from those operations could affect marine life even hundreds of kilometers away, the authors of the new paper found. Within about 6 kilometers (3.73 miles) of a mine, the noise could be equivalent to or even louder than a rock concert.
For the rest of this article: https://www.theverge.com/2022/7/7/23198447/mining-deep-sea-batteries-dangerously-noisy-study