Controversies over new airport runways make locals more noise-sensitive.
Making a noise about noise: airports upset locals.
Public controversy surrounding the impending building of a runway may make locals much more sensitive to increased aircraft noise than planners predict. A new study warns that it could be easy to underestimate the impact of changes such as those proposed for Britains Heathrow Airport.
A new runway began operating at Vancouver International Airport in 1996 after highly publicized local objection to it. Two years later, the proportion of those living below the new flight paths who described themselves as very or extremely annoyed by aircraft noise had risen by more than expected from known trends of noise dosage effects, a new study finds1.
Fidells team conducted two rounds of telephone interviews - in August 1995 and August 1998 - with about 1,000 people living near the Vancouver airport. In both cases they asked identical questions about interviewees general perceptions of noise in their neighbourhoods, including street traffic noise as well as aircraft noise. They made no explicit mention of the new runway.
The researchers canvassed seven communities, each situated under or close to a different part of the flight paths, and so experiencing different noise exposure. Two communities seemed to be particularly disturbed by the effects of the new runway: Bridgeport and Hamilton/Annieville, respectively to the east of and in line with the new runway.
In 1998 more than 60% of the respondents in these communities felt that aircraft noise had increased over the past year. In 1995 the figure was 20-40%.
This rise in ire is far more pronounced than forecasts based on previous studies. In 1992 the US Federal Interagency Committee on Noise produced a graph showing how the proportion of high annoyance in local residents usually increases in relation to rising aircraft noise. The new findings lie above this curve - far above, in the case of Bridgeport.
On average, all the communities studied seemed to have a significantly lower noise-tolerance threshold in 1998 - two years after the highly publicized building of the new runway - than they did in 1995, Fidells group show.
PHILIP BALL | © Nature News Service
Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy