Rockets, noise pollution and the Mayan train project

Does the roar of rocket launches harm wildlife? Rockets’ start is so loud that the noise measured at a distance of even a few kilometres is about 127-136 dB. That is why experts from American universities will study the effects of noise pollution at the Vandenberg Spaceport in California. Due to the activities of private companies, by 2030, the number of launches will increase significantly – to 50-100 per year; cameras will record the animals’ reactions to the sounds of rocket launches. Scientists will examine, among other things, whether birds leave their nests in response to noise and whether they change their feeding and mating habits or chirp.

Mexican residents are protesting the effects of the construction of the Mayan train project that will connect Mayan temples in the jungle to the seaside resorts of Cancún and Tulum. The 1,525-kilometre line will cross the Yucatan Peninsula, rainforests, indigenous lands and the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The local forest is inhabited by over 100 species of mammals – including the most critical jaguar population in Mesoamerica – 398 species of birds and 84 species of reptiles, some of which are threatened with extinction.

According to scientists, the demand for chocolate is the leading cause of the destruction of protected forests in West Africa. Cocoa production accounted for more than ⅓ of the nearly 1 million hectares of protected areas in Côte d’Ivoire deforestation since 2000 and more than 13.5% of the nearly 200,000 hectares of deforested similar areas in Ghana. It is estimated that in 2022 the global chocolate trade was worth over $1 trillion.

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