WHAT IS OCEANS’ DEAD ZONES?
Just like the extinction of animals , destruction of rainforest and the effects of global warming and climate change our oceans and the entire marine life and eco system within it is suffering too . Dead zones in the ocean mean that the species that inhabited those parts of the ocean have died or have left that area of the ocean . Sometimes these zones occur naturally sometimes time as a result of man-made destruction. However the ocean is a precious and extremely important aspect of life, without the entire ecosystem that lives underwater we would not be able to live on this planet and the planet may not even be able to survive itself .
DEAD WATER ZONE
Dead waters, what are they? in order to understand about the oceanic zone, zone of the dead we need to understand what causes it and what it actually means. A dead zone occurs when there are too many nutrients entering the waters, these nutrients fertilize the algae that grows in the waters but as this algae dies and sinks to the bottom of the water it attracts a lot of bacteria which use it as a source of food to grow and as this happens oxygen is removed from the ocean, making it to poor of oxygen to survive and support marine life. These excess nutrients most often come from humans from burning fossils fuels and as a result of large factories and industrial buildings these nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus get was into the ocean and eventually cause what is known as a dead zone.
EUROPEAN DEAD ZONE
Europe’s Baltic Sea has one of the largest dead zones in the world . This has mainly been caused by the overuse of fertilizers as well as climate change which has created warmer ocean temperatures thus creating a huge loss of oxygen from the sea and leaving it dead and uninhabitable . And as this sea has been previously susceptible to dead zones as a result of its lack of circulation and strong tides the addition of residential areas with production of sewage and fertilizers this has become increasingly worse .
CHESPEAKE BAY DEAD ZONE
Another prominent dead zone is the dead zone Chesapeake Bay which is too one of the worst in the world. With the streams of water from lakes and rivers full of harmful and toxic nutrients entering the sea and spreading contamination the ocean can not fight off such a high-level influx and thus is forced to a standstill. The increase in farms, cities , suburbs, and huge industrial factories have let off pollution that seeps straight into the ocean and together with air pollution which is an additional factor to killing the oceans there is not much hope for survival if we continue on this type of path .
MEXICAN OCEANS DEAD ZONES
The Gulf of Mexico is also home to one of the largest dead zones seen in the oceans within the world. Stretching from the Mississippi river all through the coast of Texas. These dead zones occur every single spring, during the months of heavy rainfall washing thousands of unhealthy nutrients into the oceans causing dramatic dead zones and death of 1000’s of marine life. The rain washes away the fertilizer farmers use in their soil into the oceans, along with increasing urbanization, sewage water runoff and the increase in temperature are all contributing to the increasing size of the dead zones created each year .
GULF OF MEXICO FACTS
Some interesting facts about the Gulf of Mexico will help you to understand why the occurrence dead zones create such a drastic affect .
- It’s the largest Gulf in the world.
- 10th largest body of water in the world
- Supports Mexican, American, and Cuban fish industries
- One of the strongest oceans in the world
- It is an oil ocean zone providing America with 1⁄4 of its oil
- Holds a wide variety of marine life from oysters and shrimps to dolphins and whales
- One of the warmest water temperatures in the world
- 33 rivers run into the Gulf of Mexico
HOW TO PREVENT DEAD ZONES
Now that we understand what dead zones are and how they occur we need to start looking at solutions to dead zones and what we can do to prevent this from expanding and affecting more parts of our important oceans.
One of the most important things we need to change and manage is the run-off, what is entering our oceans, and how much of it. Managing the nutrients in fertilizers and planning the exact time it is applied to the soil along with the predicted weather conditions can seriously help reduce the amount of runoff entering into the oceans.
Better management of livestock by attempting to keep the waste coming from animals away from entering streams will keep the harmful nutrients produced from eventually entering our oceans.
The building of specific plants in coastal areas can help by absorbing some of the nutrients before they enter into the water and any attempt we can make at reducing climate change, less burning of fossil fuels, oil consumption, and Co2 emissions will help to combat the capacity of nutrients entering oceans and in turn causing dead zones.
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