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Science explains why shouting into the wind seems futile

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Shouting into the wind isn’t so ineffective after all.

The idiom is commonly used to describe an unsuccessful attempt to communicate. But it’s not actually more difficult to shout upwind, says acoustics researcher Ville Pulkki of Aalto University in Espoo, Finland.

Sending a sound upwind, against the flow of air, makes the sound louder due to an acoustical effect called convective amplification. Sound sent downwind is quieter. So, if you’re yelling upwind, a listener standing in front of you should have no problem hearing you — contrary to popular belief.


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