News

Metagenomics and metatranscriptomics reveal broadly distributed, active, novel methanotrophs in the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone

Abstract. 

"The northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM) hypoxic zone is a shallow water environment where methane, a potent greenhouse gas, fluxes from sediments to bottom water and remains trapped due to summertime stratification. When the water column is destratified, an active planktonic methanotrophic community could mitigate the efflux of methane, which accumulates to high concentrations, to the atmosphere. To investigate the possibility of such a biofilter in the nGOM hypoxic zone we performed metagenome assembly, and metagenomic and metatranscriptomic read mapping. Methane monooxygenase (pmoA) was an abundant [...]".

 

Source: Oxford Academic
Authors: Kathryn L. Howe et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiac153

Read the full article here.


Gulf of Mexico blue hole harbors high levels of novel microbial lineages

Abstract.

"Exploration of oxygen-depleted marine environments has consistently revealed novel microbial taxa and metabolic capabilities that expand our understanding of microbial evolution and ecology. Marine blue holes are shallow karst formations characterized by low oxygen and high organic matter content. They are logistically challenging to sample, and thus our understanding of their biogeochemistry and microbial ecology is limited. We present a metagenomic and geochemical characterization of Amberjack Hole on the Florida continental shelf (Gulf of Mexico). Dissolved oxygen became depleted at the hole’s rim[...]"

 

Source: The ISME Journal 
Authors: N. V. Patin et al.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-021-00917-x

Read the full article here.


Can ocean community production and respiration be determined by measuring high-frequency oxygen profiles from autonomous floats?

Abstract.

"Oceanic primary production forms the basis of the marine food web and provides a pathway for carbon sequestration. Despite its importance, spatial and temporal variations of primary production are poorly observed, in large part because the traditional measurement techniques are laborious and require the presence of a ship. More efficient methods are emerging that take advantage of miniaturized sensors integrated into autonomous platforms such as gliders and profiling floats. One such method relies on determining the diurnal cycle of dissolved oxygen in the mixed layer and has been applied successfully to measurements from gliders and mixed-layer floats. [...]”

 

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Christopher Gordon et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-17-41110.5194

 

Read the full article here.

 


NOAA, partners to report on 2020 Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’ monitoring cruise

NOAA and its partners will report on their recent research cruise to measure the extent of the hypoxic or “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico during a media teleconference on Tue., Aug. 4 at 11:00 a.m. EDT.

In June, NOAA scientists forecasted this summer’s dead zone – an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and other marine life – to be approximately 6,700 square miles. That is larger than the long-term average measured size of 5,387 square miles, but substantially less than the record of 8,776 square miles set in 2017.

 

Visit the announcement here.


Larger-than-average ‘dead zone’ expected for Gulf of Mexico

"NOAA scientists are forecasting this summer’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic area or “dead zone” – an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and other marine life – to be approximately 6,700 square miles, larger than the long-term average measured size of 5,387 square miles but substantially less than the record of 8,776 square miles set in 2017. The annual prediction is based on U.S. Geological Survey river-flow and nutrient data. [...]"

Source: NOAA

Read the full article here.


Effects of spatial variability on the exposure of fish to hypoxia: a modeling analysis for the Gulf of Mexico

Abstract.

"The hypoxic zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico varies spatially (area, location) and temporally (onset, duration) on multiple scales. Exposure to hypoxic dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations (< 2 mg L−1) is often lethal and exposure to 2 to 4 mg L−1 often causes the sublethal effects of decreased growth and fecundity on individuals of many fish species. We simulated the movement of individual fish within a high-resolution 3-D coupled hydrodynamic-water quality model (FVCOM-WASP) configured for the northern Gulf of Mexico to examine how spatial variability in DO concentrations would affect fish exposure to hypoxic and sublethal DO concentrations. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Elizabeth D. LaBone et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-2020-51

Read the full article here.


Implications of different nitrogen input sources for potential production and carbon flux estimates in the coastal Gulf of Mexico (GOM)

and Korean Peninsula coastal waters

Abstract.

"The coastal Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and coastal sea off the Korean Peninsula (CSK) both suffer from human-induced eutrophication. We used a nitrogen (N) mass balance model in two different regions with different nitrogen input sources to estimate organic carbon fluxes and predict future carbon fluxes under different model scenarios. The coastal GOM receives nitrogen predominantly from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers and atmospheric nitrogen deposition is only a minor component in this region. [...]"

Source: Ocean Science
Authors: Jongsun Kim et al.
DOI: 10.5194/os-16-45-2020

Read the full article here.


Fish Diet Shifts Associated with the Northern Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone

Abstract.

"The occurrence of low dissolved oxygen (hypoxia) in coastal waters may alter trophic interactions within the water column. This study identified a threshold at which hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOMEX) alters composition of fish catch and diet composition (stomach contents) of fishes using fish trawl data from summers 2006–2008. Hypoxia in the NGOMEX impacted fish catch per unit effort (CPUE) and diet below dissolved oxygen thresholds of 1.15 mg L−1 (for fish CPUE) and 1.71 mg L−1 (for diet). CPUE of many fish species was lower at hypoxic sites (≤ 1.15 mg L −1) as compared to normoxic regions (> 1.15 mg L −1), including the key recreational or commercial fish species Atlantic croaker Micropogonias undulatus and red snapper Lutjanus campechanus. [...]"

Source: Estuaries and Coasts
Authors: Cassandra N. Glaspie et al.
DOI: 10.1007/s12237-019-00626-x

Read the full article here.


Larval Fish Habitats and Deoxygenation in the Northern Limit of the Oxygen Minimum Zone off Mexico

Abstract.

"The present state of deoxygenation in the northern limits of the shallow oxygen minimum zone off Mexico is examined in order to detect its effects on larval fish habitats and consider the sensitivity of fish larvae to decreased dissolved oxygen. A series of cruises between 2000 and 2017 indicated a significant vertical expansion of low oxygen waters. The upper limit of suboxic conditions (<4.4 μmol/kg) has risen ~100 m at 19.5°N off Cabo Corrientes and ~50 m at 25°N in the mouth of the Gulf of California. The larval habitat distribution was related to the geographic variability of dissolved oxygen and water masses between these two latitudes. [...]"

Source: JGR Oceans
Authors: Laura Sánchez‐Velasco et al.
DOI: 10.1029/2019JC015414

Read the full article here.


Coral Mortality Event in the Flower Garden Banks of the Gulf of Mexico in July 2016: Local Hypoxia due to Cross-Shelf Transport of Coastal Flood Water

Abstract.

"Remotely sensed and in situ data, in tandem with numerical modeling, are used to explore the causes of an episode of localized but severe mortality of corals, sponges, and other invertebrates at the Flower Garden Banks (FGB) National Marine Sanctuary in July 2016. [...]"

Source: Continental Shelf Research
Authors: Matthieu Le Hénaff et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2019.103988

Read the full article here.


A New Characterization of the Upper Waters of the central Gulf of México based on Water Mass Hydrographic and Biogeochemical Characteristics

Abstract.

" In the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) at least three near-surface water masses are affected by mesoscale processes that modulate the biogeochemical cycles. Prior studies have presented different classifications of water masses where the greater emphasis was on deep waters and not on the surface waters (σθ < 26 kg m−3), as in this work. Here presents a new classification of water masses in the GoM, based on thermohaline properties and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration using data from a total of five summer and winter cruises carried out primarily in the central GoM. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Gabriela Yareli Cervantes-Diaz et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-2019-340

Read the full article here.


Quantifying the Relative Importance of Riverine and Open‐Ocean Nitrogen Sources for Hypoxia Formation in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Abstract.

"The Mississippi and Atchafalaya River System discharges large amounts of freshwater and nutrients into the northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM). These lead to increased stratification and elevate primary production in the outflow region. Consequently, hypoxia (oxygen <62.5 mmol/m3), extending over an area of roughly 15,000 km2, forms every summer in bottom waters. [...]"

Source: JGR Oceans
Authors: Fabian Große et al.
DOI: 10.1029/2019JC015230

Read the full article here.


Large ‘dead zone’ measured in Gulf of Mexico

Hurricane Barry dampens initial size predictions

"This year’s Gulf of Mexico “dead zone”— an area of low oxygen that can kill fish and marine life — is approximately 6,952 square miles, according to NOAA-supported scientists. The measured size of the dead zone, also called the hypoxic zone, is the 8th largest in the 33-year record and exceeds the 5,770-square-mile average from the past five years. [...]"

Source: NOAA

Read the full article here.


Gulf Dead Zone Looms Large in 2019

"In 2019, predictions indicate that the Gulf of Mexico will retain the dubious distinction of having the second-largest low-oxygen dead zone on Earth (the Baltic Sea remains firmly in first place). By the end of the summer, the hypoxic region on the seafloor at the mouth of the Mississippi River is expected to occupy over 22,000 square kilometers—an area the size of the state of Massachusetts. [...]

Source: Earth & Space Science News
Author: Mary Caperton Morton
DOI: 10.1029/2019EO128019

Read the full article here.


Massive 8,000-mile 'dead zone' could be one of the gulf's largest

"JUST OFF THE coast of Louisiana and Texas where the Mississippi River empties, the ocean is dying. The cyclical event known as the dead zone occurs every year, but scientists predict that this year's could be one of the largest in recorded history. Annual spring rains wash the nutrients used in fertilizers and sewage into the Mississippi. That fresh water, less dense than ocean water, sits on top of the ocean, preventing oxygen from mixing through the water column. Eventually those freshwater nutrients can spur a burst of algal growth, which consumes oxygen as the plants decompose. [...]"

Source: National Geographic

Read the full article here.


NOAA forecasts very large ‘dead zone’ for Gulf of Mexico

"NOAA scientists are forecasting this summer’s Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone or ‘dead zone’ – an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and other marine life – to be approximately 7,829 square miles, or roughly the size of Massachusetts. The annual prediction is based on U.S. Geological Survey river flow and nutrient data. [...]"

Source: NOAA

Read the full article here.


Flooding Makes Big 'Dead Zone' Off Louisiana Coast Likely

"The year's widespread flooding has made it likely that a big, oxygen-starved "dead zone" off Louisiana's coast will form this summer, the head of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science said Thursday. Preliminary computer model runs "indicate a large to very large year," for the area where there's too little oxygen to support marine life, Steven Thur told the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force during a meeting livestreamed from Baton Rouge. [...]"

Source: The New York Times

Read the full article here.

 


Extent of the annual Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone influences microbial community structure

Abstract.

"Rich geochemical datasets generated over the past 30 years have provided fine-scale resolution on the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM) coastal hypoxic (≤ 2 mg of O2 L-1) zone. In contrast, little is known about microbial community structure and activity in the hypoxic zone despite the implication that microbial respiration is responsible for forming low dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions. [...]"

Source: PLoS ONE
Authors: Lauren Gillies Campbell et al.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209055

Read the full article here.

 


Yield stability analysis reveals sources of large-scale nitrogen loss from the US Midwest

Abstract.

"Loss of reactive nitrogen (N) from agricultural fields in the U.S. Midwest is a principal cause of the persistent hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. We used eight years of high resolution satellite imagery, field boundaries, crop data layers, and yield stability classes to estimate the proportion of N fertilizer removed in harvest (NUE) versus left as surplus N in 8 million corn (Zea mays) fields at subfield resolutions of 30 × 30 m (0.09 ha) across 30 million ha of 10 Midwest states. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Bruno Basso et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-42271-1

Read the full article here.


'Dead zone' volume more important than area to fish, fisheries

Dubravko Justic, the Texaco Distinguished Professor in the LSU Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, and Research Associate Lixia Wang recently co-authored a study suggesting that measuring the volume rather than the area of the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone, is more appropriate for monitoring its effects on marine organisms.

 

"The dead zone, a hypoxic zone, is a region of low oxygen that results from runoff of high nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, often found in fertilizer, flowing from the Mississippi River into the coastal ocean. It is the largest recurring hypoxic zone in the U.S., occurring most summers, and is located off the coast of Louisiana. This nutrient pollution, coupled with other factors, is believed to have a negative impact on fisheries because it depletes the oxygen required to support most marine life in bottom and near-bottom waters. [...]"

Source: Science Daily

Read the full article here.


Hypoxic volume is more responsive than hypoxic area to nutrient load reductions in the northern Gulf of Mexico – and it matters to fish and fisheries

Abstract.

"While impacts of low oxygen on marine organisms have been reviewed from physiological and ecological perspectives, relating broad population- and ecosystem-level effects to the areal extent of hypoxia (dissolved oxygen concentration below 64 µM, or 2 mg/l) has proven difficult. We suggest that hypoxic volume is a more appropriate metric compared to hypoxic area because volume better integrates the effects of hypoxia on ecological processes relevant to many marine taxa. [...]"

Source: IOP Science
Authors: Donald Scavia et al.
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaf938

Read the full article here.


A Novel Approach for Measuring the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone: Toward Better Temporal and Spatial Estimates for Management Applications

Abstract.

"Nearly every summer, a large hypoxic zone forms in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Research on the causes and consequences of hypoxia requires reliable estimates of hypoxic extent, which can vary at submonthly time scales due to hydro-meteorological variability. Here, we use an innovative space-time geostatistical model and data collected by multiple research organizations to estimate bottom-water dissolved oxygen (BWDO) concentrations and hypoxic area across summers from 1985 to 2016. [...]"

Source: Environmental Science and Technology 
Authors: V. Rohith Reddy Matli et al.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b03474

Read the full article here.


What could cause the Mississippi Bight to become hypoxic?

"Coastal regions with low dissolved oxygen (known as hypoxia) can lead to poor water quality and harm regional fisheries. These areas of low dissolved oxygen are expanding and expected to continue growing in coming years due to human impacts on the environment.

A recent article published in Continental Shelf Research explores aspects of the environmental conditions that can potentially lead to hypoxia in the Mississippi Bight region of the northern Gulf of Mexico. This area extends from Apalachicola in Florida to the Mississippi River Delta. [...]"

Source:  EurekAlert!

Read the full article here.


Tracking sea surface salinity and dissolved oxygen on a river-influenced, seasonally stratified shelf, Mississippi Bight, northern Gulf of Mexico

Abstract.

"River discharge, and its resulting region of freshwater influence (ROFI) in the coastal ocean, has a critical influence on physical and biogeochemical processes in seasonally stratified shelf ecosystems. Multi-year (2010–2016) observations of satellite-derived sea surface salinity (SSS) and in situ water column hydrographic data during summer 2016 were used to investigate physical aspects of the ROFI east of the Mississippi River Delta to better assess regional susceptibility to hypoxia in the summer months. [...]"

Source: Continental Shelf Research
Authors: Brian Dzwonkowski et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2018.09.009

Read the full article here.


Drivers of oxygen consumption in the northern Gulf of Mexico hypoxic waters – A stable carbon isotope perspective

Abstract.

"We examined the stable carbon isotopic composition of remineralized organic carbon (δ13COCx) in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM) using incubations (sediment and water) and a three end‐member mixing model. δ13COCx in incubating sediments was ‐18.1±1.3‰, and δ13COCx in incubating near‐surface and near‐bottom waters varied with salinity, ranging from ‐30.4‰ to ‐16.2‰ from brackish water to full strength Gulf water. The average δ13COCx was ‐18.6 ±1.8‰ at salinity >23. A three end‐member mixing model based on a multi‐year dataset collected in previous summer hypoxia cruises (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016) suggested that δ13COCx in near‐bottom waters across the nGoM (5‐50 m) was ‐18.1±0.6‰. [...]" 

Source: Geophysical Reasearch Letters
Authors: Hongjie Wang et al.
DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078571

Read the full article here.


Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' forecasted to exceed the size of Connecticut

"Scientists have predicted the dead zone, or area with little to no oxygen in the northern Gulf of Mexico, will become larger than the state of Connecticut by the end of July. The dead zone will cover about 6,620 square miles of the bottom of the continental shelf off Louisiana and Texas. While there are more than 500 dead zones around the world, the northern Gulf of Mexico dead zone is the second largest human-caused coastal hypoxic area in the world."

Source: Phys.org

Read the full article here.


Nancy Rabalais - The "dead zone" of the Gulf of Mexico

"Ocean expert Nancy Rabalais tracks the ominously named "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico -- where there isn't enough oxygen in the water to support life. The Gulf has the second largest dead zone in the world; on top of killing fish and crustaceans, it's also killing fisheries in these waters. Rabalais tells us about what's causing it -- and how we can reverse its harmful effects and restore one of America's natural treasures."

Watch the full TED Talk here.


Climate Change Projected to Exacerbate Impacts of Coastal Eutrophication in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Abstract.

"The continental shelf in the northern Gulf of Mexico experiences expansive seasonal hypoxic conditions and eutrophication‐driven acidification in bottom waters. Rising surface ocean temperatures, freshwater and nutrient inputs, and atmospheric CO2 will further exacerbate these conditions. Using a high‐resolution, regional circulation‐biogeochemical model, we simulated the spatio‐temporal dynamics of oxygen and inorganic carbon in the northern Gulf of Mexico under present and a projected future (2100) climate state. [...]"

Source: Oceans (AGU Journal)
Authors: Arnaud Laurent et al.
DOI: 10.1002/2017JC013583

Read the full article here.


NCCOS and NGI Lead Seventh Annual Hypoxia Research Coordination Workshop

"NCCOS is working with the Northern Gulf Institute (NGI) and Gulf of Mexico State partners to develop a robust and sustainable Gulf of Mexico-wide monitoring program for hypoxia. At the 7th Annual Hypoxia Research Coordination Workshop, planning continued for a Cooperative Hypoxia Assessment and Monitoring Program.

The Cooperative Hypoxia Assessment and Monitoring Program (CHAMP) is a bottom-up effort comprised of State (LA, AL/MS, TX) and issue-based workgroups. Eight workgroups (Fisheries, Louisiana-Mississippi/Alabama-Texas state monitoring, autonomous vehicles, Hypoxia Task Force, Oil/Gas and Ocean Acidification, and Gulf Restoration) identify and pursue leveraging and support opportunities within their local focus areas, benefiting the entire Gulf region. [...]"

Source: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)
Author: Alan Lewitus

Read the full article here.


Gulf of Mexico dead zone not expected to shrink anytime soon

"Achieving water quality goals for the Gulf of Mexico may take decades, according to findings by researchers at the University of Waterloo.

The results, which appear in Science, suggest that policy goals for reducing the size of the northern Gulf of Mexico's dead zone may be unrealistic, and that major changes in agricultural and river management practices may be necessary to achieve the desired improvements in water quality.

The transport of large quantities of nitrogen from rivers and streams across the North American corn belt has been linked to the development of a large dead zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico, where massive algal blooms lead to oxygen depletion, making it difficult for marine life to survive.

"Despite the investment of large amounts of money in recent years to improve water quality, the area of last year's dead zone was more than 22,000 km2—about the size of the state of New Jersey," said Kimberly Van Meter, lead author of the paper and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Waterloo. [...]"

Read the full article here.


The Northern Gulf of Mexico During OAE2 and the Relationship Between Water Depth and Black Shale Development

Abstract.

"Despite their name, Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs) are not periods of uniform anoxia and black shale deposition in ancient oceans. Shelf environments account for the majority of productivity and organic carbon burial in the modern ocean, and this was likely true in the Cretaceous as well. However, it is unlikely that the mechanisms for such an increase were uniform across all shelf environments. Some, like the northwest margin of Africa, were characterized by strong upwelling, but what might drive enhanced productivity on shelves not geographically suited for upwelling? [...]"

Source: Plaeoceanography
Authors: Christopher M. Lowery
DOI: 10.1002/2017PA003180

Read the full article here.


Gulf of Mexico Battles Expanding Dead Zone in Louisiana

"During the summer of 2017, researchers with the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) and Louisiana State University mapped the largest dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico to date.

The Gulf of Mexico meets the shorelines of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and western Florida and is home to a large fishing industry. Several rivers from the Midwestern watershed flow south into the Gulf, carrying with them sediment, nutrient loads, and pollution from fossil fuel burning and wastewater systems.
The problem isn’t new, but it is expanding. "

Author: Mindy Cooper
Source: Environmental Monitor

Read the full article here.


The Northern Gulf of Mexico During OAE2 and the Relationship Between Water Depth and Black Shale Development

Abstract.

"Despite their name, Oceanic Anoxic Events (OAEs) are not periods of uniform anoxia and black shale deposition in ancient oceans. Shelf environments account for the majority of productivity and organic carbon burial in the modern ocean, and this was likely true in the Cretaceous as well. However, it is unlikely that the mechanisms for such an increase were uniform across all shelf environments. [...]"

Source: Paleoceanography
Authors: Christopher M. Lowery
DOI: 10.1002/2017PA003180

Read the full article here.


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

Read the full article here.


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

Full article


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)

Full article

 


Ensemble modeling informs hypoxia management in the northern Gulf of Mexico

Abstract.

"A large region of low-dissolved-oxygen bottom waters (hypoxia) forms nearly every summer in the northern Gulf of Mexico because of nutrient inputs from the Mississippi River Basin and water column stratification. Policymakers developed goals to reduce the area of hypoxic extent because of its ecological, economic, and commercial fisheries impacts. However, the goals remain elusive after 30 y of research and monitoring and 15 y of goal-setting and assessment because there has been little change in river nitrogen concentrations. [...]"

Source: Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
Authors: Donald Scavia et al.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1705293114 

 

Full article


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)

Full article

 

 


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