The Center for Climate & Security

Home » climate and security » Snapping Shrimp Can Disrupt the Navy’s Search for Mines as the Oceans Warm

Snapping Shrimp Can Disrupt the Navy’s Search for Mines as the Oceans Warm

Fat handed snapping shrimp

Fat-handed Snapping Shrimp. Photographer: Michael Marmach, Museums Victoria

By Dr. Marc Kodack

And now for something completely different. Marine biologists presented an interesting paper at the Ocean Science Meeting 2020 on research they conducted on “snapping shrimp.” As ocean temperatures warm because of climate change, the cracking noise that snapping shrimp create increases in loudness and frequency. The cracking likely “helps the shrimp communicate, defend territories and hunt for food.” One of the implications is that the ocean soundscape will become noisier, potentially affecting not only the communication of ocean animals, e.g., fish, but sonar systems used by a fisherman or by the U.S. Navy to detect mines or other operations. Thus, while there are global effects from climate change, the scale of climate change effects will reach all the way down to the very local level – e.g., single species such as snapping shrimp – that can directly interfere with strategic marine national defense assets. Who said this topic couldn’t get any more interesting?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: