Several Ocean Dead Zones Found in Atlantic
The world’s oceans are thought to be full of all kinds of life, both plant and animals, but now, scientists have discovered some ocean dead zones in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. These regions have less oxygen, as well as a lower salt content that other spots in the ocean waters and now fish are able to travel or live inside them.
The study of the ocean, conducted by Germany’s GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, has been going on for about 10 years and their latest check of their instruments revealed several areas of these ocean dead zones. The scientist first started to see these areas of low oxygen in 2010, according to their reports, but had initially thought it was just a problem with their equipment recorders. Then, by using a different instrument, they found out that it was indeed a series of ocean dead zones.
Ocean Dead Zones Known to Exist Previously
Other ocean dead zones have been found in the past, including one in the Gulf of Mexico that is said to be more than 5,000 square miles in size, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Watch. This one is known to have caused some fish die offs in that area.
The ocean dead zones travel in eddies that turn into swirling sections of water that rotate in sync with the Earth’s rotation, with weather playing some sort of role with the winds contributing to the support for the formation of the ocean dead zones, according to the theory posed by today’s scientists who study this event.
Ocean Dead Zones Possibly Caused by Pollution, Algae Blooms
The ocean dead zones form mostly alongside coastal regions, and several are known to exist on the eastern and southern US coasts, as well as in the Baltic Sea. They are thought to have been caused by pollution, fertilizer run offs, and algae blooms caused from those activities. This newest of the ocean dead zones is located about 100 kilometers or less from Cape Verde near West Africa and is currently moving in a whirlpool fashion. The travel of the dead zone could cause fish in the area to die off if it makes travel into an area where the fish have their habitat. This area is several kilometers in size and goes down several hundred meters below the surface as well.
The bottom line is that with the discovery of these additional ocean dead zones in the Atlantic Ocean, that we are moving ever closer to a time when many more dead zones will occur and cause the extinction of the majority of the marine species that live in the oceans of the world.