The quiet spring of 2020

    Research output: Contribution to JournalComment / Letter to the editorAcademic


    Sounds of the past can be easily forgotten, especially when soundscapes change gradually over long periods of time. This past spring, many people got a chance to experience how the outside world sounded in the 1950s. Global transport came to a halt as human activities decreased abruptly (either voluntarily or under direct order for lockdown) to stem the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). With fewer people driving cars and hardly any airplanes traversing the skies, the amount of background noise across whole continents dropped substantially. On page 575 of this issue, Derryberry et al. (1) report the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown on animal behavior—namely, the songs of white-crowned sparrows. The findings suggest that mitigation measures against noise pollution could yield immediate beneficial effects on urban wildlife.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)523-524
    Number of pages2
    JournalScience (New York, N.Y.)
    Issue number6516
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2020


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