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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:18 AM
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Researcher Says Gulf Dead Zone Bigger Than Ever
Source: Associated Press

Researcher says Gulf dead zone bigger than ever
By MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 36 minutes ago

HOUSTON - A "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas-Louisiana coast this year is likely to be the biggest ever and last longer than ever before, with marine life affected for hundreds of miles, a scientist warned.
"It's definitely the worst we've seen in the last five years," said Steve DiMarco, a Texas A&M University professor of oceanography who for 16 years has studied the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, so named because the oxygen-depleted water can kill marine life.

The phenomenon is caused when salt water loses large amounts of oxygen, a condition known as hypoxia that is typically associated with an area off the Louisiana coast at the mouth of the Mississippi River. The fresh water and salt water don't mix well, keeping oxygen from filtering through to the sea bottom, which causes problems for fish, shrimp, crabs and clams.

This year's dead zone has been aggravated by flood runoff from heavy spring rains and additional runoff moving into the Gulf from record floods along the Mississippi. DiMarco, joined by researchers from Texas A&M and the University of Georgia, just returned from an examination of 74 sites between Terrebonne and Cameron, La. He said the most severe hypoxia levels were recorded in the mid-range depths, between 20 and 30 feet, as well as near the bottom of the sea floor at about 60 feet.

Some of the worst hypoxic levels occurred in the western Gulf toward the state line. "We saw quite a few areas that had little or no oxygen at all at that site," DiMarco said Tuesday. "This dead zone area is the strongest we've seen since 2004, and it's very likely the worst may be still to come.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080723/ap_on_sc/dead_zone



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Submariner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:43 AM
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1. All that fresh fertilizer spread over the newly planted fields
washed out in the flood waters, and the nutrient load will now spawn a huge algal bloom which is an oxygen scavenger. It's going to be a biological wasteland out there.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 06:46 AM
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2. The cause: agricultural petrochemicals - fertilizer and pesticides
Poisons the earth, then the runoff poisons the water, while the harvest poisons the people.

What's wrong with this chemical equation?
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 09:31 PM
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3. kick
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OKthatsIT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:13 PM
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4. American Farmers need to change their methods of tilling
Contour plowing and sealing the edge off. The Govt should create examples online. We have a farm near by that spills soil out onto the road.

Nitrogen. They would find they'd have to fertilize less if the grew a crop of rye or clover over winter.

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