Low DX propagation, saving the whales

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W0PV, Jan 17, 2020.

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  1. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Investigation of solar cycle and space weather involvement with Earth sciences continues to expand. What is bad for some may be good for others.

    73, John, WØPV

    Solar storms cause grey whales to become stranded as radio waves interfere with their ability to detect the Earth's magnetic field

    • During high levels of solar activity grey whales becoming stranded more often
    • Experts aren't sure whether grey whales navigate using the magnetic field
    • They say that if they do then the study suggests they are becoming misdirected
    • When there are high levels of sunspots whale strandings are five times higher

    Solar storms cause grey whales to get lost at sea and become stranded more often, according to researchers. Experts from Duke University in North Carolina studied 31 years of data on grey whale strandings from 1985 to 2018, as well corresponding solar activity. The findings suggest that the relationship between migrating animals and the Sun may be closer than previously understood, says researcher Jesse Granger. They found that healthy grey whales were nearly five times more likely to become stranded when there is a high number of sunspots and increased solar activity. The team say this could be due to the solar storms disrupting the whales' ability to detect the Earth's magnetic field, causing them to steer off course.

    Scientists are unsure exactly how whales navigate but think that migratory mammals such as grey whales use Magnetoreception. Magnetoreception is the ability to sense magnetic fields such as the one surrounding the Earth. This research adds some evidence to the idea of grey whales using the magnetic field to find their way to breeding and feeding grounds during migration.'It's a fascinating finding,' Kenneth Lohmann, a biologist who studies magnetoreception and was not involved in the study, told Live Science.'There have been several previous reports linking magnetic storms to whale strandings, but this is a particularly well-done and convincing analysis.'

    Western grey whales migrate to their summer feeding grounds in Russia in May or June and return to winter grounds in the South China Sea in the autumn. Eastern populations of the whales migrate from Russia to the west coast of the US to have their calves in the winter. Their migration takes them as far as 12,000 miles in a round trip and they stay close to the shore to feed in shallow water. At certain times there have been higher numbers of whales stranded on beaches or rocks and this is what the Duke team set out to investigate. The team found that although there are a number of reasons a whale might become stranded, one reason could be that it made a navigational error. This may have happened due to something disrupting Earth's magnetic field or the whale's ability to detect the field, says Granger.

    Finding a link between an increase in whale strandings and a high number of sunspots wasn't enough to explain the strandings alone. Sunspots cause a large increase in electromagnetic radiation but most of it doesn't make it to the surface as it is blocked or scattered by the atmosphere. 'However, there's a huge chunk in the radio frequency wave range that does make it all the way to the Earth,' Granger told Live Science. The researcher said that it has been shown in several species that radio frequency noise can disrupt the ability to navigate using the magnetic field.'Although many factors impact strandings, such as naval mid-frequency sonar, upwellings, disease and anthropogenic noise, here we focus on whether strandings can be used to study the potential for magnetoreception in migratory whales,' Granger said in the paper.

    'We examined the frequency of live strandings in relation to sunspot count, and performed a permutation statistical test that demonstrated that strandings occurred more often on days with high solar activity.'

    'More work will be needed to determine whether the storms are affecting whale navigation or having some other effect,' said Lohmann.

    The research was presented at a meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology on January 7.

    KK4CUL likes this.
  2. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The solution is for the gray whales to listen to those (RF) voices in their heads...

    ==sustainability== rf is b-a-a-a-d==global warming==carbon footprint==

    This is a p%ss-poor piece of junk science. The variation of propagated RF ('electromagnetic radiation') and noise is dramatic over the course of a day, even at sunspot max. Correlates essentially are arbitrarily choosing a sampling rate which is artificial and not hypothesis driven.

    What they should do is go back to the days of atmospheric nuclear testing and prove that the whales beach themselves from inverse Compton RF induced from the blasts. There is more than enough data available. Then we can consider the possibility of natural effects that are 50 dB to 80dB! down...

    Just because an invertebrate has a 'magnetic compass' is not causal justification for application to mysticetes...OR odontocetes.

    They say--"more work"--- projectitis to guarantee emplyment funding. Ugh.

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
    K0PV, KR3DX and N0TZU like this.
  3. NC0L

    NC0L Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    How do you really feel?
    KG5ILP, VA7UO and KC1DR like this.
  4. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ask SPOCK...
  5. K7KE

    K7KE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Absolutely, categorically junk science.
    VK6APZ, K0PV, VA7UO and 4 others like this.
  6. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I recall working on the design of a new Salmon fish hatchery and fish ladder for a State Wildlife Agency years ago. I believe it was in Mass.
    They were very concerned about the "Impact" of the electric service upon the migrating salmon. I responded that I was not aware of low voltage (480/277V) system impact on wildlife. They were still rather concerned so I told them jokingly that if they were that concerned they could run all power in magnetic conduit which would act as a shield everywhere on their site. The State Wildlife Agency jumped on that and held me as a "hero" for the migrating salmon.

    I looked at it as a waste of money for mitigating an unproven theory. Who knows....maybe the Salmon look upon me as St Edmund for maintaining their magnetic GPS system.
    KR3DX, W0PV, VK2GD and 1 other person like this.
  7. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The weirdest guy in my high school class became such a government biologist/employee....he would do this weird thing to spook others by opening his eyes wide and having them flit back and forth in-socket at about a 120 Hz rate.

    I know some very capable marine biologists, and a buncha bad ones.

    This sounds like Mass. alright....
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
    KC1DR likes this.
  8. AF4RK

    AF4RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't see that the simple stating of data is junk science. According to the article, there is a correlation between sunspots and whale behavior. There is a video by Prof. jim al khalili that shows how quantum mechanics explains how birds use the earth's magnetic field to navigate during their migration.
    Since sunspots cause massive changes in the magnetic fields around the earth, solar maximum could be interfering with the whales ability to sense magnetism. Prof. Jim is really a great teacher. Watch the video to learn how quantum mechanics explains animals use of the earth's magnetic field to navigate.
  9. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    We have definitely noticed weird behavior from a variety of sea mammalian sea live...dolpins and whales getting disorganized and beaching themselves. Is it because of magnetic anomalies or naval technologies (sonar)? No one knows for sure. However, migration of particular species has never been understood completely. We do know that our species can get "turned around" in the woods or walk in circles in the desert. We certainly don't have whatever migrating species have up their sleeve. However, when man discovered a magnetized piece of iron he figured out how to use Earth's magnetism even before he knew what it was. I find that leap amazing!
    KG5ILP, KB0YYO, NC0L and 1 other person like this.
  10. N2RRA

    N2RRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Everybody’s a scientist debunking and trashing other scientists, but those trashing scientists have zero credible credentials in the science field. Their credentials go as far as Google Web University too their claims. LOL, SMH.
    VK6APZ, F8WBD, NC0L and 1 other person like this.

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