Dead Zones

DEAD ZONES….Just in case you didn’t have enough to worry about, marine biologists Robert Diaz and Rutger Rosenberg have recently finished counting up all the world’s dead zones, and the news isn’t good:

In the latest sign of trouble in the planet’s chemistry, the number of oxygen-starved “dead zones” in coastal waters around the world has roughly doubled every decade since the 1960s, killing fish, crustaceans and massive amounts of marine life at the base of the food chain, according to a study released today.

….”We’re saying that hypoxia is now everywhere, it seems,” said Diaz. “We can say that human activities really screwed up oxygen conditions in our coastal areas.”

Douglas N. Rader, chief ocean scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, said the chaos in the planet’s nitrogen cycle is not only creating dead zones but also inciting the spread of toxic algae, such as the pfiesteria that has appeared in recent years in the Chesapeake.

“The next big challenge, after global warming, is going to be addressing the massive upset of the world’s nitrogen cycle,” Rader said.

The world’s biggest dead zones are in the Black Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Baltic Sea.