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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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Low Oxygen Dead Zones in the Pacific Ocean are Growing

"Every year, we see wildfires wreak havoc on large regions of the West United States, and each year scientists attempt to forecast exactly how bad the upcoming fire season is going to be by assessing things like weather, moisture levels, and a bevy of different factors. [...]"

Source: Mind Guild

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Macroalgal Blooms on the Rise along the Coast of China

Abstract.

"A broad spectrum of events that come under the category of macroalgal blooms are recognized world-wide as a response to elevated levels of eutrophication in coastal areas. In the Yellow Sea of China, green tides have consecutively occurred 10 years, which is considered as the world’s largest Ulva blooms. However, in recently years, golden tides caused by Sargassum seaweed have also been on the rapid rise, resulting in dramatic damage to the environment and economy again.  [...]"

Source: Oceanography & Fisheries
Authors: Jianheng Zhang, Yuanzi Huo and Peimin He 
DOI: 10.19080/OFOAJ.2017.04.555646

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Metabolic Roles of Uncultivated Bacterioplankton Lineages in the Northern Gulf of Mexico “Dead Zone”

Abstract.

"Marine regions that have seasonal to long-term low dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations, sometimes called “dead zones,” are increasing in number and severity around the globe with deleterious effects on ecology and economics. One of the largest of these coastal dead zones occurs on the continental shelf of the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM), which results from eutrophication-enhanced bacterioplankton respiration and strong seasonal stratification. [...]"

Source: mBio
Authors: J. Cameron Thrash et al.
DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01017-17

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Meat industry blamed for largest-ever 'dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico

"The global meat industry, already implicated in driving global warming and deforestation, has now been blamed for fueling what is expected to be the worst “dead zone” on record in the Gulf of Mexico.

Toxins from manure and fertiliser pouring into waterways are exacerbating huge, harmful algal blooms that create oxygen-deprived stretches of the gulf, the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay, according to a new report by Mighty, an environmental group chaired by former congressman Henry Waxman. [...]"

Source: The Guardian

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Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’ is the largest ever measured

"Scientists have determined this year’s Gulf of Mexico “dead zone,” an area of low oxygen that can kill fish and marine life, is 8,776 square miles, an area about the size of New Jersey. It is the largest measured since dead zone mapping began there in 1985." 

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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Massive Bloom Of Pickle-Shaped Sea Creatures Fills The Pacific

"Millions of tubular sea creatures called pyrosomes have taken over the Pacific Ocean in an unprecedented bloom that has scientists baffled.

These bumpy, translucent organisms look like sea cucumbers that range in size from six inches to more than two feet long. But they’re actually made up of hundreds of tiny animals knit together with tissue into a filter-feeding cylinder. [...]

No one knows what the effects of the bloom will be, but scientists worry that if all the creatures die off at once they could sink to the seafloor and suck up all the oxygen as they’re decomposing, creating a dead zone for marine life."

Source: OPB/EarthFix

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NOAA, USGS and partners predict third largest Gulf of Mexico summer ‘dead zone’ ever

"Larger-than-average low and no oxygen area may affect the region’s shrimp fisheries

 

Federal scientists forecast that this summer’s Gulf of Mexico dead zone – an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and other marine life – will be approximately 8,185 square miles, or about the size of New Jersey.

This would be the third largest dead zone recorded since monitoring began 32 years ago – the average Gulf dead zone since then has been 5,309 square miles.

The Gulf’s hypoxic or low-oxygen zones are caused by excess nutrient pollution, primarily from human activities such as agriculture and wastewater treatment. The excess nutrients stimulate an overgrowth of algae, which then sinks and decomposes in the water. The resulting low oxygen levels are insufficient to support most marine life and habitats in near-bottom waters, threatening the Gulf’s fisheries. [...]"

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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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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Stormy waters: the salmon farmer trying to limit fishing and save the ocean

"There’s trouble brewing in Tasmania’s waterways once again.

In the 1980s, protests over the proposed Franklin River hydroelectric dam threw the Apple Isle’s conservation plight onto the national stage. This time, it is the state’s salmon farming industry that is under a cloud. The relatively young industry is worth over $700m a year and now outpaces all other farming activities on the island but environmental campaigners are worried about its impact on the region’s pristine waters. [...]"

Source: The Guardian

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