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Scientist makes worrisome discovery after playing back audio recording from his trip to state park 3 decades ago: 'The changes are profound'

"I've got an hour of material with nothing, at the high point of spring."

"I've got an hour of material with nothing, at the high point of spring."

Photo Credit: iStock

A soundscape ecologist is warning that his audio recordings have drastically changed over the past 30-plus years, which could indicate trouble on the horizon in the natural world. 

What happened? 

As detailed by the Guardian, soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause captured the chirps of birds, sounds of wildlife, and rushing creek water when he first started recording at California's Sugarloaf Ridge State Park back in 1993. 

Last April, however, his microphones revealed the park had gone silent. 

"I've got an hour of material with nothing, at the high point of spring. What's happening here is just a small indication of what's happening almost everywhere on an even larger scale," Krause told the news outlet. 

Over the years, the ecologist also observed that the park was out of sync with its natural patterns. Trees were blooming earlier than usual, winter rainfall had changed, and a drought began scorching the area in 2012. 

Krause, who has also recorded in Africa, Latin America, and Europe, told the Guardian that he has more than 5,000 hours of audio spanning 55 years. He believes that 70% of his archive has documented habitats that no longer exist. 

"The changes are profound. And they are happening everywhere," he said. "I don't need to say anything — the messages are revealed through the soundscapes."

Why is this concerning?

The changes in climate and extreme weather linked to an overheating planet appear to be impacting the migration patterns of some bird species, according to Krause

Because of the ecosystem's interconnected nature, this could ultimately lead to decreased biodiversity, which would have a wide-ranging negative impact, including on our food supply

The U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that one out of every three bites of food is thanks to pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds.

"We're watching this in our own lifetime, which is startling," Krause, who authored The Great Animal Orchestra, told the Guardian of the natural world's slowly increasing silence. 

What can be done to protect biodiversity?

Many actions can help protect our ecosystems. Supporting pro-environment candidates and initiatives, volunteering to clean up litter, and controlling pests without harmful chemicals are just some of the options. 

Eating one meat-free meal per week can also make a difference. As detailed by the United Nations, our use of land — particularly for agriculture — is the leading cause of biodiversity loss. Livestock farming requires more space than other type of food production. 

Finally, heat-trapping gases from oil, coal, and gas are the primary driver of an overheating planet. Taking public transportation and using LED light bulbs are money-saving options to reduce harmful pollution.  

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