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Man-Made "Dead Zone" In Gulf of Mexico the Size of Connecticut

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the we're-doomed dept.

Earth 184

Taco Cowboy writes Somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico there is a man-made "Dead Zone" the size of the State of Connecticut. Inside that "Dead Zone" the water contains no oxygen, or too little to support normal marine life, especially the bottom dwelling fish and shrimps. The "Dead Zone" measures about 5,000 square miles (13,000 square kilometers) [and] is caused by excess nutrient runoff from farms along the Mississippi River, which empties into the Gulf. The excess nutrients feed algae growth, which consumes oxygen when it works its way to the Gulf bottom. The Gulf dead zone, which fluctuates in size but measured 5,052 square miles this summer, is exceeded only by a similar zone in the Baltic Sea around Finland. The number of dead zones worldwide currently totals more than 550 and has been increasing for decades.

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This is no dead zone. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619059)

It is a life opportunity area. Give it a chance.

Re:This is no dead zone. (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47619171)

It is a life opportunity area. Give it a chance.

That's 'Photosynthetic Entrepreneurship Incubator', please... A carefully constructed program of Nitrogen Incentives has (quite literally) grown trillions of Green Jobs in the dynamic and competitive Algae sector. Truly an achievement to be proud of.

Yes, some people, driven by the politics of envy, allege that the disruption of legacy 'oxygen breathing' business models is a problem rather than a sign of progress; but that sick desire to prop up uncompetitive organisms with the dead hand of state wealth redistribution has no place in a free society!

Re:This is no dead zone. (2, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#47619525)

Hurrumph. A redox Nazi.

Re:This is no dead zone. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619837)

You're probably joking, but before early in earths existence there was only anaerobic life.
Maybe this will give it a chance to make a bit of a comeback.

No one give a fuck about Connecticut (-1, Flamebait)

greenwow (3635575) | about 3 months ago | (#47619069)

Why compare it to that small, Republican-run piece of shit state? That is, unless you are one of those piece of shit Republicans that hates the Earth and wants to see all animals die. That is the way of those xians. In this case, they're gloating over killing animals near Mexico and for destroying CT.

Re: No one give a fuck about Connecticut (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619093)

The governor and legislature of CT are majority democrats.

No one give a fuck about Connecticut (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619095)

Democrats currently run Connecticut, not Republicans.

Re:No one give a fuck about Connecticut (-1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#47619263)

Uh.. CT is at least as lefty as NY is now, esp with the new gun control laws that were passed.

Re:No one give a fuck about Connecticut (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619429)

You're a fucking idiot. Just because someone votes for a sensible law to go door to door to confiscate guns doesn't make them a Democrat. The Republicans rule here with an iron fist. That is why we don't have a single payer healthcare option here. The moron Republicans are so fucking stupid their kind decided we should have to pay for our own healthcare-related products and services. Just because I don't want to have to work and want to force someone else at gunpoint to pay for my vasectomy doesn't make me a bad person, but those moron Republican lie and claim I am. That makes them pieces of shit.

Re:No one give a fuck about Connecticut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619459)

I love it. great post! hahaha

Re:No one give a fuck about Connecticut (3, Interesting)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 3 months ago | (#47619847)

Don't forget: We also hate the poor and minorities too. We want to see them all die so that there is nothing left in this universe but a few rich white men with no earth (because as you yourself state, we hate that too.)

(Disclaimer: I'm not a Republican, but I typically get lumped with them because most people can't see beyond simple left and right.)

Re:No one give a fuck about Connecticut (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47620343)

I wish people would quit quoting Mike Rowe. He's like a fortune cookie, only more ignorant.

Re:No one give a fuck about Connecticut (1)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 3 months ago | (#47620531)

By your signature I'm guessing that you are at least somewhat familiar with psychology. That's good because it will save me some time.

The reason I quote Mike Rowe is because this one line says a lot. I find that a lot of people go around with this constant attitude that somebody is out to make their life shitty (whether that is the big corporations, the government, the communists, rich people, aliens from outer space, etc.) This is the reason why a lot of people are very unhappy. This is why I see people on slashdot that seem to always be unhappy (they're always complaining about this or that.)

Life is only as crappy as you think it is. Doesn't matter if your rich or poor, disabled, etc. How you feel about how good or bad your life is, is entirely up to you. A lot of people get offended when they hear that, but even empirical science has proven it, and it's a fact whether it offends you or not.

The guy I replied to obviously thinks the Republicans are out to destroy the world. He probably drives himself crazy with rage every time he hears about X, Y, or Z that a Republican has done. Many Republicans do the same thing with Democrats. But really they're all just making themselves miserable.

So yes, I'll quote Mike Rowe on this, as I feel it is very appropriate to slashdot. Mike Rowe didn't even believe it himself at first, and I thought it was neat reading about how he came to realize it.

Re:No one give a fuck about Connecticut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47620619)

Oh, FFS, don't waste your efforts responding to geekoid's troll posts. He's probably blitzed right now anyway (I'm just going with the odds on that); hopefully, his kids don't witness him when he so frequently does that.

Re:No one give a fuck about Connecticut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47620919)

From a European perspective it does not look like most Americans can see beyond Right and MAOR RIGHT. Any maybe FUCKING COMMIE BASTARD.

Re:No one give a fuck about Connecticut (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 3 months ago | (#47621019)

From a European perspective it does not look like most Americans can see beyond Right and MAOR RIGHT. Any maybe FUCKING COMMIE BASTARD.

No, these days commies make all the stuff your favorite corporation sells you for a ridiculous profit margin. So s/COMMIE/SOCIALIST/ and pretend everything is as it aught to be.

So? (5, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 3 months ago | (#47619097)

This has been going on for a long time. It's due to drainage of basically the Great Plains out into the Gulf. Lots of fixed nitrogen from fertilizers in that these days. That nitrogen stimulates a variety of organisms that also use oxygen. Which there really isn't all that much of in water.

The only way you are going to stop it is to find a different method of raising food for the world. Hint: current organic methods doesn't do it - too labor intensive and yields suffer.

Or you could have less people.

Re:So? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47619191)

Aside from the potential ecosystem impact, there is the unhelpful issue that 'fish and shrimps' are (in areas where populations remain) a fairly popular source of more-or-less inoffensive protein. Even if you are purely interested in maximizing food production, there is a direct trade-off, though the ratio can differ by location and implementation, between maximizing farm yields at the expense of marine environments or curbing fertilization at the expense of farm yields. The oceans do serve other purposes; but they are also a major production area.

Re: So? (3, Interesting)

BaronM (122102) | about 3 months ago | (#47619255)

As neither a farmer nor a marine biologist, I should probably shut up, but hey, this is Slashdot!

I have to wonder how much use of synthetic fertilizer could be reduced by systematic crop rotation between corn and legumes to fix nitrogen naturally rather than dumping on the land? I suppose the price would probably be yields down/food prices up, but food is historically cheap at the moment.

Re: So? (1)

James Buchanan (3571549) | about 3 months ago | (#47619619)

Wrong, food is recently expensive. No longer are every other peon following a horse or mule. Now some have time for intellectual pursuits. Like Dilbert. Nowadays we use store bought machineries and oil. Way more expensive then feeding the children of the help, and letting them create the machines .

Re: So? (-1, Troll)

DeathElk (883654) | about 3 months ago | (#47619745)

The use of machinery and intensive nutrients/pesticides has driven food prices to such low levels that good, wholesome corn fed, SUV drivin', soda guzzlin', beef chompin' Americans (and Canadians, and Europeans, and Australians) have been the fattest they've ever been.

I find it really funny when some fatty boomsticks whinges about the high price of wholesome, un-processed food, fruit and vegetables, as if they're gonna eat that stuff anyway. Too easy to visit TrippelFatSlurp on the corner and get a Double Guzzle Combo for $10 than to do a weekly food shop for $50.

Re:So? (2)

Jason Goatcher (3498937) | about 3 months ago | (#47619471)

Another thing we could is invest 100 billion dollars into African agriculture. You could grow a huge amount of food in Africa, it's just the initial investment that's the problem, building roads, transferring farming gear, etc..

Re:So? (5, Funny)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 3 months ago | (#47619957)

Great idea! But we would probably need more labor for this to work. To soak up the unemployed pool in the US, we could send them to Africa in an ecologically sound fleet of wind-powered ships built from natural nonmetallic materials.

Re: So? (2)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 3 months ago | (#47620139)

Meh. I don't need food. My nerd rage sustains me.

Re:So? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47620455)

Another thing we could is invest 100 billion dollars into African agriculture. You could grow a huge amount of food in Africa,
it's just the initial investment that's the problem, building roads, transferring farming gear, etc..

That "etc" being "killing the people who then show up claiming the land is theirs, and you have one minute to leave or die."

White people had great farms in Africa. Then the national governments decided it wasn't fair that white people owned large farms. So they either killed or ran off the colonialist oppressors, and gave the land to proper black Africans. Who proceeded to let the productive farms turn to wastelands because they have no idea how to work together, much less actually farm year after year.

(Posting AC just because I don't need the grief.)

Re:So? (4, Interesting)

unimacs (597299) | about 3 months ago | (#47619527)

The problem isn't just fertilizers, it's also that runoff is fast-tracked into lakes, streams, and rivers that lead to the Gulf. If instead we restored some wetlands and allowed the rivers to move beyond their banks now and then rather than just making the banks taller, you wouldn't have so much water flowing into the Gulf at such a furious pace dragging a ton of silt with it. It would have time to be filtered naturally, replenish aquifers, and grow plants instead of it all ending up in the ocean.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619791)

Bullshit. It is fertilizers. Farmers are so fucking wealthy that they waste millions of dollars worth of fertilizers every year by dumping them in rivers. For their kind, it is conspicuous consumption. At their Republican conventions, they brag about who wasted the most money.

Re:So? (4, Informative)

ehynes (617617) | about 3 months ago | (#47619601)

Or we could simply eat less meat [phys.org] since much of the corn and soybeans grown in the midwest are just fed to animals.

Re:So? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47620353)

That would be nice..
I'd like t see a big push for less meat consumption. Really don't need more the 6oz a day.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47620897)

Or we could simply eat less meat [phys.org] since much of the corn and soybeans grown in the midwest are just fed to animals.

Soylent Green is the answer!
I, for one, welcome our new Cannibal Overlords!

Re:So? (3, Informative)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 3 months ago | (#47621563)

Or we could ditch ethanol for fuels... Or stop paying farmers to go crops that there isn't demand for.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619809)

Vertical farms. Far more efficient. Less fertilizer, less use of pesticides, water, etc. Get fresh vegetables and fruits all year round. No need to transport them thousands of miles.

Re:So? (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 3 months ago | (#47619947)

OR we could just develop methods of farming with less runoff.

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47620143)

Or you could stop throwing food away. Growing food is not the issue, organic, or better yet permaculture will work. But distrobution, profit, storage and finally wastefullness all bite you in the ass.

Get the neutient right at least (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47620197)

It has been known for a long time now that this has *nothing* to do with nitrogen. Nitrogen is never the limiting factor for algae growth. Neither is potassium. So, you have one major fertilizer to guess - yes, it is phosphorus.

Phosphorus runoff is *the* reason for dead-zones and algae blooms. Stop phosphorus runoff, and you fix one of the major problems we have today that not only affects The Gulf, but many of the sweet water lakes too.

The only way you are going to stop it is to find a different method of raising food for the world. Hint: current organic methods doesn't do it - too labor intensive and yields suffer.

Wrong on both points.

1. You do not have to stop using fertilizer if you prevent runoff from getting into rivers and lakes in sufficient quantities to cause problems. This means less ditches, more wetlands, and stop of draining wetlands to get substandard farmland.

2. If people had nothing but organic farming, we would certainly not run out of food. Even if yields were 50% lower (and they would not be), there would still be plenty of plant food to eat. Maybe meat would be more expensive and people would start only eating meat once a week, like 100+ years ago, but there certainly would be enough food to go around.

Secondly, even 100% pure organic farming using natural fertilizer does not solve the problem of phosphorus runoff.

Re:Get the neutient right at least (1)

N1AK (864906) | about 3 months ago | (#47621183)

Maybe meat would be more expensive

Meat would be significantly more expensive, when you blur the lines on something that definitive by saying it "maybe" it diminishes the rest of your point. That's not to say meat shouldn't be considerably more expensive.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47620917)

Or you can collect the nitrogen used in fertilizers before it gets to the ocean, or you can invent ways to use less of it. Do remember the seas are also a huge source of food. This kills the fish. ( I live in finland, baltic sea has been a big concers around here for many years already, currently it looks like we might be able to save it. A couple of big factories got modernised or closed in Russia just a while ago, that helped a lot. Now we have agriculture to improve. It's possible to limit the fields so that less nitrogen washes to rivers)

Re:So? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 3 months ago | (#47621029)

This has been going on for a long time. It's due to drainage of basically the Great Plains out into the Gulf. Lots of fixed nitrogen from fertilizers in that these days. That nitrogen stimulates a variety of organisms that also use oxygen. Which there really isn't all that much of in water.

The only way you are going to stop it is to find a different method of raising food for the world. Hint: current organic methods doesn't do it - too labor intensive and yields suffer.

Or you could have less people.

Don't worry, in ~20 years the aquifer will run dry and the entire Great Plains will become the new Dust Bowl. Problem solved.

(Except for finding something to eat. Maybe there will be enough shrimp for breakfast).

Re:So? (1)

Stuarticus (1205322) | about 3 months ago | (#47621159)

too labor intensive and yields suffer.

I thought we were going to need a lot of new jobs in our post-work society? Farming is more interesting and productive than a lot of work I see people forced to accept these days. Or are you going to tell me that because things will be more expensive we'll all lose out? One of those tides that doesn't lift the big boats so can't lift any small ones, maybe?

Re: So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47621587)

Maybe a little Ebola with the cheerios?

Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619107)

So the currents in the Gulf run east to west of the Mississippi River? The answer is no. So how does farming runoff into Ole Miss explain this? Could it possibly be that for the most part the entire coastline north of the dead zone is swamp, which is full of decomposing material?

Re:Nice (4, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#47619543)

Calm down. It's been worked out [noaa.gov] for your viewing pleasure.

Don't Color Me Surprised (3, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#47619111)

Of course there's anthropogenic change to the environment.

We have gone forth and multiplied,

to the great detriment of our bluegreen, slightly elliptical, biosphere.

Re:Don't Color Me Surprised (0)

Chas (5144) | about 3 months ago | (#47619569)

Well, if we're so detrimental, I accept your volunteering to off yourself to make a dent in the problem! ;-)

Re:Don't Color Me Surprised (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#47619627)

A gentleman, a scholar, and a plagiarist all rolled into one.

Like a Ronco product.

Re:Don't Color Me Surprised (1)

Chas (5144) | about 3 months ago | (#47620279)

Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.
-- Pablo Picasso

Re:Don't Color Me Surprised (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47620367)

Pablo Picasso said no such thing.

Re:Don't Color Me Surprised (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47620933)

Even better ones just make shit up and credit it to someone else.
-- Pablo Picasso

Re:Don't Color Me Surprised (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47620377)

That doesn't work, that removes one and changes nothing. we have to work from within the system to change the system.

Re:Don't Color Me Surprised (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 3 months ago | (#47620743)

Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings, is that you?

How big is it? (5, Insightful)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | about 3 months ago | (#47619125)

To put this in perspective, 5,000 sq. mi. is a square about 71 miles on a side. Compare this to the total area of the Gulf (615,000 sq. mi) and you'll see this "dead zone" occupies just 0.8% of the Gulf. Is this something that needs addressing? Absolutely. But it's not some horrific cauldron of death like the headline tries to make it out to be.

Re:How big is it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619251)

But it's not some horrific cauldron of death like the headline tries to make it out to be.

Yes it is.........in a 5000 sq/mi area.

Re:How big is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619539)

Before you posted, I was about to try to drive through Connecticut without gas. On second thought, no.

Re:How big is it? (1)

517714 (762276) | about 3 months ago | (#47619977)

Flatulence is usually associated with New Jersey.

Re:How big is it? (2)

turp182 (1020263) | about 3 months ago | (#47619415)

It is a "cauldron of death" for species that cannot escape (shellfish primarily, so selfish about their oxygen and location).

I wonder if population studies have been done, how does the ecosystem recover after the algae bloom? I haven't checked of course.

This isn't the largest death zone ever, maybe farming practices are improving with regards to runoff. It is certainly wasteful.

Re:How big is it? (0)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 3 months ago | (#47619615)

The Mariana Trench is also a "cauldron of death" due to its similar lack of oxygen, but we don't talk about it in that way because the species that can't survive there simply don't live there to begin with. It sounds like the same would be true here, so I'm unclear why the shellfish would need to be escaping at all. Are the algae blooms seasonal? Because, if not, and this is a permanent dead zone, any life that was in it is long gone, and you don't need to worry about new life trying to escape it, because it isn't there anyway.

Re:How big is it? (0)

fractoid (1076465) | about 3 months ago | (#47619631)

I wonder if population studies have been done, how does the ecosystem recover after the algae bloom?

I haven't checked either, but I'd guess that the water will gradually absorb oxygen from the air until it reaches a livable level, at which point the surrounding ocean ecosystem will recolonize it.

Re:How big is it? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 3 months ago | (#47620001)

Well that just sounds too dog gone reasonable for.the american people. Quick! We need to tgrow....30 billion at the problem right now!

Obviously, it's all Finland's fault. (2)

leftie (667677) | about 3 months ago | (#47619169)

Damn you, Finns.

Re: Obviously, it's all Finland's fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619517)

Oh, Obama is Finnish now?

Oh, Obama is Finnish now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619599)

Not until Jan 20, 2017

Perfect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619243)

The Algae consumes CO2, and lots of it. And because it is in a 'dead-zone', that carbon sinks to the bottom and is stored away and not recycled by the food chain.

Maybe a ship load of iron should be dumped into this zone to enhance the effect?

Re:Perfect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619331)

No. Everything has to always be scary, and negative. There cannot be any positive consequences from anything people do. The only answer is to eliminate the virus of humanity from the face of the earth.

Re:Perfect! (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 3 months ago | (#47621573)

Nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

bigger n' better (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 3 months ago | (#47619271)

Everything is bigger in Texas.
Apparently near it, too.

Re:bigger n' better (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 3 months ago | (#47621043)

Everything is bigger in Texas.

Except penises.

(The rest is compensation.)

I just don't care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619279)

Humans pollute the world. That's just how it is, and I'll be dead before it becomes catastrophic, so meh.

There's a dead zone in Connecticut the size of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619307)

... Connecticut

Re:There's a dead zone in Connecticut the size of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619761)

stfu.. CT is wonderful. Almost no one here speaks english anymore, so we're obviously quite 'diverse', and we have the highest gas prices in the country, making us green (obviously).

That's good news (1)

killkillkill (884238) | about 3 months ago | (#47619373)

Only the size of Connecticut? So, nothing to worry about?

Re:That's good news (2, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 months ago | (#47619417)

Now if we could only move it TO Connecticut, we could kill two birds with one stone!

Re:That's good news (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 3 months ago | (#47620071)

As a bonus, that would also kill off every insurance company in the country.

Re:That's good news (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 3 months ago | (#47621051)

Only the size of Connecticut? So, nothing to worry about?

I dunno... How many Manhattans is that?

What a coincidence (1, Troll)

gzuckier (1155781) | about 3 months ago | (#47619375)

What a coincidence; there's a brain-dead zone in Connecticut, the size of Connecticut.

Coincidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619387)

There's also a dead zone in Connecticut the size of Connecticut.

Breaking News - Source of Pure Hydrogen Found (2, Funny)

willworkforbeer (924558) | about 3 months ago | (#47619407)

" Inside that "Dead Zone" the water contain no oxygen"

Step 1. Find Connecticut-sized container
Step 2. Something something
Step 3. Profit.

Don't be so negative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619457)

Why not harvest the algae and use it to make bio-diesel? That might cure two problems.

Dead Zone (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 3 months ago | (#47619529)

We already know about it; it's called Congress.

Really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619581)

Of course the scientist not even a lead scientist in his area at lsu sampled these 5000 square miles counted life at the bottom. Oh wait no he didn't. In his "model" he states. Instead of a traditional interpolation-based approach, we use a simulation-based approach that yields more robust extent estimates and quantified uncertainty. This data was based on a short cruise through the area one summer. From that he has determined 5000 miles is near lifeless. Amazing. Simply amazing his powers as a scientist.

I also love this probability data. Total matches up with his news article. " Furthermore, adjustments are made to account for observational bias resulting from the use of different sampling instruments in different years. Our results suggest an increasing trend in hypoxic layer thickness (p = 0.05) from 1985 to 2011, but less than significant increases in volume (p = 0.12) and area (p = 0.42)."

mod up (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 3 months ago | (#47620007)

All good point. But you know...doom and gloom gets funding

Re:mod up (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47620385)

NO don't mod up.
AC is ignorant of science, the techniques used and is simple batting around the stupid 'It's only a model' fallacy.

Re:mod up (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 3 months ago | (#47621063)

NO don't mod up.
AC is ignorant of science, the techniques used and is simple batting around the stupid 'It's only a model' fallacy.

There are only so many arguments people can make when they don't like what scientists discover about the universe.

Otherwise known as carbon sequestration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619825)

All that algae is sucking up CO2 and dying thus sequestering it at the bottom of the ocean. Just what environmentalists want.

Re:Otherwise known as carbon sequestration (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 3 months ago | (#47620089)

Yes, if this zone were far offshore, so that dying algae would sink to the deep bottom, rather than killing littoral fish and crustaceans. It's a good object of study though, to learn more about the effect of algal blooms on the ecosystem.

"Highly concentrated life zone" (0)

J'raxis (248192) | about 3 months ago | (#47619971)

If you read the article, it explains this "dead zone" is actually full of algae---in other words, it probably has more life in it than the entire surrounding area (in terms of number of organisms, concentration of organisms, total biomass, and so on). Maybe this is a good thing, maybe it's bad, maybe it's entirely indifferent, but it is not a "dead zone."

But of course if we described the zone honestly, we wouldn't be able to use it as environmentalist propaganda, now could we?

Re:"Highly concentrated life zone" (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 3 months ago | (#47620013)

Well, theres only one way to be sure....send in the nukes

hey, dumb ass (0, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 months ago | (#47620389)

Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans and large lakes, caused by "excessive nutrient pollution from human activities coupled with other factors that deplete the oxygen required to support most marine life in bottom and near-bottom water.

Learn what the fuck something means for for making shit up. YOU and people like you is why the country is going down the shiter. Ignorant loud mouthed SOB.

Re:hey, dumb ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47620579)

So, effectively it's a damn big weed patch in the ocean fueled by our runoff, where algae would be equivalent to say, the plains in the Mid-western US. Sounds like we park the oil rig there, and start making biodiesel... and when we run out of algae, problem solved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel

Re:hey, dumb ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47620601)

I feel sorry for your parents.

it's the 8th wonder of the world! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47619973)

no, wait.. that was the deepwater horizon oil spill. is the 9th available? no? [wikipedia.org]

Lake Erie (1)

raind (174356) | about 3 months ago | (#47620401)

last week 400K Toledo OH. residents were not able to drink the water for 2 days (or more) due to toxin in the algae that turns the lake into green sludge. it's a freshwater problem as well.

0.17% (1)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | about 3 months ago | (#47620545)

So let's go ultra worse case and say that all 550 "dead zones" (I don't know why we're using quotes here, but everyone else is so...) are as bad as the Mississippi dead zone, with a little rounding let's say that it's 5000/square miles per dead zone, that's 550*5000/square miles = 2500000. Now according to Wikipedia ...

That makes our worse case 2500000 / 139000000 = 0.0179856115107914 or 0.17% of the worlds oceans. Is "killing" (more quotes) 0.17% of the ocean to feed the world with cheap and abundant food saving millions from starvation a good enough reason? I'm not one to judge! Who's to say what the value of 0.17% of the ocean in the middle of nowhere is worth!

What I think is a more pressing matter is the fact that the state of Connecticut has been used without going through the proper RFC process. How am I supposed to know how to accurately convert states of Connecticut to Pyramids of Giza or Olympic sized swimming pools. For that matter, I'm not even sure if I shouldn't' be comparing this to Libraries of Congress! It's 2014 people! We live in a society bound by laws! People have got to learn!

Re:0.17% (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47620629)

That kind of percentage is a bit misleading. The awkward bit about dead zones is that they occur along the coast in exactly the kind of spots that would otherwise be good for supporting marine life ( a lot of open ocean tends to be nutrient-depleted and middling lifeless... coastal areas have a lot more going for them; the stuff washed out of rivers is a great food source normally).

Re:0.17% (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about 3 months ago | (#47620797)

We use the quotes because the zones aren't actually dead, they're just full of undesirable life (algae).

Re:0.17% (1)

N1AK (864906) | about 3 months ago | (#47621199)

or 0.17% of the worlds oceans.

It's a bit like saying who cares if 0.2% of the worlds land area was heavily irradiated when you don't know whether that 0.2% is in a desert where only a couple of camels would notice, or the locations of the 25 largest cities in the world leading to hundreds of millions dead and displaced.

not spam (0)

BlaiseCollinsonvum (3777607) | about 3 months ago | (#47620591)

my co-worker's mother-in-law makes $79 an hour on the internet . She has been fired for 8 months but last month her pay was $13333 just working on the internet for a few hours. take a look at the site here >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> WÃWÃW.JÃuÃmÃpÃÃ62.CÃoÃÃÃm

not replying to spam (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 3 months ago | (#47621245)

$13333 @ $79/hr is 168hrs 46mins 19.7 seconds. What kind of employer pays you in units of fractions of a second? Also, 168 hours a month is more than "a few hours". Hell, it's a 40 hour week.

I suspect your spam is dishonest and wish to speak to your supervisor.

This is not news... (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 3 months ago | (#47620903)

...not to the shrimpers and other commercial fishermen of the Gulf. Sad and alarming, and all, but not news.

Carbon sequestration (1)

mkwan (2589113) | about 3 months ago | (#47621367)

On the plus side, it's a very effective form of carbon sequestration. All that dead algae will sit on the ocean floor for millenia and eventually turn into oil.

More doom and gloom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47621529)

Why is everything so doom and gloom with these people? And how do they know it's man-made? They don't, but they like to think that it is, that way they can try and control it via government, fees, taxes, etc. As the saying goes, just follow the money.

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