News

Chesapeake Bay dead zone this summer worst since 2014

In June, federal scientists predicted a bigger-than-average oxygen-deprived dead zone in the Chesapeake Bay this summer, and it turns out they were right.

Researchers with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science who study bay hypoxia announced Monday that the total amount of dead zones this summer was the worst since 2014, and a 10 percent increase over last year.

Source: Daily Press

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Ocean Acidification More Rapid in Coastal Oceans

"New research under the joint NCCOS Competitive Research Program and NOAA Ocean Acidification Program finds the combined effects of anthropogenic and biological carbon dioxide (CO2) inputs may lead to more rapid acidification in Chesapeake Bay and other coastal water compared to the open ocean. The results indicate that eutrophication can exacerbate ocean acidification (OA) where animal and plant respiration contributes a far greater acidification in the coastal oceans relative to the open ocean. [...]"

Source: The National Centers for Ciastal Ocean Science

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Acid zone in Chesapeake Bay identified

"Zone of water 30 feet below surface is increasing in acidity, threatening shellfish.

A research team, led by University of Delaware professor Wei-Jun Cai, has identified a zone of water that is increasing in acidity in the Chesapeake Bay.

The team analyzed little studied factors that play a role in ocean acidification (OA)--changes in water chemistry that threaten the ability of shellfish such as oysters, clams and scallops to create and maintain their shells, among other impacts."

Source: ErurekAltert!

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Redox reactions and weak buffering capacity lead to acidification in the Chesapeake Bay

Abstract.

"The combined effects of anthropogenic and biological CO2 inputs may lead to more rapid acidification in coastal waters compared to the open ocean. It is less clear, however, how redox reactions would contribute to acidification. Here we report estuarine acidification dynamics based on oxygen, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), pH, dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity data from the Chesapeake Bay, where anthropogenic nutrient inputs have led to eutrophication, hypoxia and anoxia, and low pH. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Wei-Jun Cai
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00417-7

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NOAA, USGS and partners predict larger summer ‘dead zone’ for the Chesapeake Bay

"Scientists expect this year’s summer Chesapeake Bay hypoxic or “dead zone” — an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and aquatic life — will be larger than average, approximately 1.89 cubic miles, or nearly the volume of 3.2 million Olympic-size swimming pools.

Measurements for the Bay’s dead zone go back to 1950, and the 30-year mean maximum dead zone volume is 1.74 cubic miles. [...]"

Source: U.S. Geological Survey

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