Scientists Discovered A Huge 'Dead Zone' In The Ocean!
Researchers in the US discovered a 'dead zone' in the Gulf of Mexico. The region in question is equivalent to the loss of approximately 4 million habitats.
Scientists continue their discovery of the dead zone in the oceans. Agricultural runoff from farms and livestock activities leads to anaerobic areas unsuitable for animal and plant life. Finally, scientists discovered a larger-than-average oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Imagine a space where absolutely nothing can live.
Dead Zone Covers 4 Million Acres in Total!
The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which studies weather and sea events around the world, announced its new findings. The area they discovered at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico is about 16,405 square kilometers. This corresponds to about 4 million acres of habitat and is no longer usable for fish and bottom-dwelling species. Resear"chers had predicted a smaller dead zone this year, predicting an average-sized area.
According to NOAA, dead zones are underwater areas where oxygen levels are too low and no marine life can survive. It occurs naturally, but researchers are concerned that these biological deserts are increasingly developing due to human activity.
Agricultural runoff from farms and livestock enters the oceans and seas. Here it stimulates the growth of algae, which in turn die and decompose. Meanwhile, oxygen-consuming bacteria degrade the algae and then cause dead zones to form.
According to NOAA, most marine life is either dying or leaving these uninhabitable areas. However, even minimal exposure to these biological deserts leads to changes in fish diets, growth rates and reproduction. Dead zones also make some species, such as shrimp, less available.
Professor Dr. Louisiana State University, who led the research. Nancy Rabalais said, “The distribution of low dissolved oxygen was unusual this summer. Low oxygen conditions were very close to shore with many observations showing an almost complete lack of oxygen.” she said.