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The Mystery of Oregon's 'Dead Zone'

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the behind-the-scary-door dept.

235

Roland Piquepaille writes "The area off Cape Perpetua on the central Oregon coast is now a gigantic crab and fish graveyard. It was first discovered in 2002, but according to the Christian Science Monitor, researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) have taken a close-up look into this coastal dead zone. And things are getting worse. A few weeks ago, the researchers measured the level of dissolved oxygen in this part of the ocean. They found that levels were 10 to 30 times lower than normal, down to 0.5 milliliters per liter, a characteristic of hypoxia. And because they have no explanations about this phenomenon, they're even envisioning a total absence of oxygen, or anoxia. Read more for additional details and pictures about this mystery."

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235 comments

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No explanation? (4, Informative)

broothal (186066) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988516)

" And because they have no explanations about this phenomenon..."

Let me help them out here a bit then. The Oregon zone appears when the wind generates strong currents carrying nutrient-rich but oxygen-poor water from the deep sea to the surface near shore, a process called upwelling. The nutrients encourage the growth of plankton, which eventually dies and falls to the ocean floor. Bacteria there consume the plankton, using up oxygen.

No - I'm not so smart that I knew the answer, but google did - first (and several more) hit.

Re:No explanation? (4, Funny)

CloudsSpaz (824168) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988544)

I don't want to seem like I actually read the source article, and maybe I have the wrong definition of explanation, but it seems like "the culprit may be global warming."

Re:No explanation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988675)

Wow! So "global warming" is another word for hypoxia and anoxia in ocean water. And I thought it meant the Earth's temperature rising.

If you would have read the article you would have come across:
But, she adds, what she and her colleagues see is consistent with projections of global warming's effects on coastal winds in the spring and summer, which drive upwelling of nutrient-laden water.

So the parent was correct, but under the assumption they didn't come to the conclusion he googled.
So, yes, neither of you RTFA. Thank you.

Re:No explanation? (5, Informative)

enharmonix (988983) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988865)

Hmm, we've been dealing with this in the Gulf for a while. It's recurrant - it goes away, then comes back the next year, and is caused by too much algae, which is basically fed by nitrogen rich runoff from ground water. IIRC, though, wind actually helps by mixing the water, so global warming shouldn't really enter into this picture. Not to say the article didn't quote somebody saying that, or that different climates won't affect things, but that's just what I heard. For anybody interested, there's a pretty scientific assessment of the phenomenon (in the gulf at least) here [noaa.gov] (I don't think anybody's linked to this yet, apologies if this is a dupe). Anyway, don't panic, Oregonians, you'll survive! Cheers.

Re:No explanation? (2, Insightful)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989349)

maybe I have the wrong definition of explanation
Yep. In order for "the culprit may be global warming" to qualify as an explanation, you'd have to detail just how you think global warming would have anything to do with this.

Re:No explanation? (5, Insightful)

drawfour (791912) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988588)

Right, because scientists in the field of study who are stumped couldn't possibly have already looked into that and discounted it? You Google'd it, that suddenly means you have all the knowledge to tell the experts what is going on?

Right...

Re:No explanation? (1)

Gnavpot (708731) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988666)

Right, because scientists in the field of study who are stumped couldn't possibly have already looked into that and discounted it?
Don't know. Did they tell anyone that they looked into it? Or should we just assume this?

Re:No explanation? (4, Informative)

tigheig (546423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988817)

Yes. It was discussed. Starting in the fifth paragraph of the linked article.

Follow the link, it's a good article.

Re:No explanation? (0, Flamebait)

popsicle67 (929681) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989692)

You obviously don't know scientists very well. They look at the painfully obvious and thing "that's too simple". You couldn't get a scientist to say he had shit on his finger after scratching his asshole without a battery of tests to eliminate all other possibilities.

Re:No explanation? (3, Insightful)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988589)

I recently moved a few thousand kilometers westward and a Chinook Arch [wikipedia.org] looks quite ominous and threatening to those that haven't seen it before. It's just nature, though. I always find it amusing when eco-types freak out and fret over what are natural earth processes.

The sky is not falling, despite what the linked image above might indicate.

Re:No explanation? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988653)

I recently moved a few thousand kilometers westward and a Chinook Arch looks quite ominous and threatening to those that haven't seen it before. It's just nature, though. I always find it amusing when eco-types freak out and fret over what are natural earth processes.
Only on Slashdot would a post this useless be modded up as 'insightful'.

Re:No explanation? (2, Funny)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988702)

I always find it amusing when eco-types freak out and fret over what are natural earth processes.

Like urinating on a bald eagle...

It's perfectly natural, guys.

Re:No explanation? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988735)

Is that like when Lenny blows his nose with a squirrel after talking about respecting the environment?

Re:No explanation? (2, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988809)

That's clearly yet another picture of the Nexus. [mjyoung.net] You can't fool us with this Chinook nonsense.
 

Re:No explanation? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988851)

Thanks for that. Next time I see one sneaking over the rockies I'll have to stage such a photo. Maybe I can convince some ACs that I am a descendant of Tim the Enchanter.

Summer lightning, thunder and nasty hailstorms here are quite impressive, especially when they happen all at once. Little kids freak out, especially the ones that are visiting from warmer climates and it's fun to watch their reactions. It's a look of true wonder and amazement.

Re:No explanation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988871)

Yeah. Make friends with any Brazillians that are new in town, just to see them react when it snows.

Re:No explanation? (1)

DestroyAllZombies (896198) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989671)

I may have missed something, but funny clouds and unexplained oxygen-free zones in the ocean are not quite of the same magnitude. Why do all the posters assume the scientists have never read a book or realized there are other bodies of water? I don't know for a fact they are smart or responsible (after all, it doesn't "say so in the article") but these threads remind me of a bunch of old men playing checkers on the courthouse steps and dispensing their accumulated skepticism about those egg-heads who keep trying to make a big deal out of nothing.
The only way to find out if it is a transient natural phenomenon or a symptom of a larger process is to study it. The article is a 40,000 foot view of this ongoing study. Obviously it left some things out. Tossing out anecdotal evidence is useless.

Re:No explanation? (1)

FluffyBob (589615) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989716)

Yeah those stupid "eco-types"! They're always saying "Wow that chinook arch looks really bad and evil, I better go and annoy some shut-in engineer with my imagined behaviors and ignorance". They're sooo dumb.

What would they know about appreciating natural beauty! What, with their silly concern for nature an all; they probably dont even think about pipes and pumps and lousy web page design.

The fools!

Re:No explanation? (1)

elljay (6702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988747)

The same type of 'dead zone' is HUGE at the base of the Mississippi River. It has reached almost to the coast of Mexico. This is not a new occurance.

Nitrogen/phosphorus rich waters flow down river (usually due to excessive farming and over fertilization). A nasty green algae/plankton sluge forms on the surface. Oxygen vanishes, fish die.

Re:No explanation? (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988862)

That's what I thought, too, but then I read the full article. The first thing they say is they've refuted river-water as a source of the problem, and acknowledge the dead-zone in the Gulf. The guy who posted about "upwelling" sounds like he's got a potential answer from Google.

Oh Come On (5, Interesting)

viewtouch (1479) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988789)

Informative, 5 ?

I live real close to this area, am on vacation in Lincoln City at the moment, and I'd like to say that when they say they have no explanations about this phenomenon you should not take that to mean that the annual upwelling of cold water from the bottom just off the continental shelf here is either news to anybody here or is a satisfactory explanation for what is going on here.

By the way, the part about the wind generating these currents, or currents anywhere, is wrong. Currents are generated by a combination of the earth's rotation, the uneven solar heating of the earth's surface and the underwater topologies of the world's oceans. Wind is better thought of as the atmospheric currents and the ocean current patterns clearly do NOT overlap the atmospheric currents.

OK, now, with that out of the way, the point is, nobody yet knows why everything is dead out there. Not you, Not Google, Not me, Not anybody - yet.

Re:Oh Come On (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988846)

uneven solar heating of the earth's surface

It should be noted that this is what causes the majority of the world's wind. Without exception, every weather process is a result of heat exchange.

Re:No explanation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988841)

Thanks for the explanation. I am sure no one at the Hatfield Marine Science Center new that. /sarcasm.

The College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Science at Oregon State is one of the leading programs in the country. I am sure they know more than your google search will bring up.

The problem is not exactly what is happening. It is why it is happening, and how is this going to affect the Oregon Coast environment in the long term.

Re:No explanation? (1)

Metex (302736) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989308)

Ehh the article was bad at explaining the problem. What they are actually worried about is the fact that there was many yummy fish/crab in the area than they suddenly died off. They dont know why since the normal oh we dumped alot of nutrian rich X chemical in the sea cant explain it nor can a sudden surge of nutriants due to natural events. Also they discounted short term cyclical patterns since this is the first time it has happened since the area has been studied 30+ years.

As for the lack of oxygen, that isnt so mysterious in the sence that you now have alot of dead marine life on the floor that needs to be broken down by bacteria, that uses oxygen.

It is the same with the Baltic sea. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988529)

The Baltic sea also has the same issue. There are so many pollotants dumped into the sea than in couple tens of years we have totally dead sea in our hands.

Re:It is the same with the Baltic sea. (4, Interesting)

Yazeran (313637) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988718)

Yes, but in the case of the Baltic, there is a natural bias towards a no-oxygen situation.

In the baltic we have a higher salt concentration in the bottom parts than nearer the surface (due to water runoff through all the rivers which empty out i the baltic). At the same time, the mouth of the baltic (e.g. the Danish straits) are shallow, usually only alloowing te surface water to freely exchange with the North sea (and hence the Atlantic). In most cases there is a weak outgowing current in the danish straits and only in special weather situations do salt and oxygen containing water enter the baltic.
The weather situations which may pump salt and oxygen into the baltic is large storms from the right direction and i recal readig that it is only about once every 2-3 years that that happens that significant amounts of salt water enters the deep parts of the baltic.

This phenomena (heavy salt rich water at the bottom, salt poor water at the surface) is also the same which makes the danish fjords vulnarable to hypoxia or anoxia (and incidently makes them nearly ideal for small submarines to operate in as a surface ship has no chance of hearing them through the thermo/hyalocline before they are close enough to launch torpedoes, which was the reason why the soviets took the danish navy serious durring the cold war).

There is alos other places where the geometry of the water basin results in natural anoxia (the black sea is i believe the largest). Similarly, in the geologic past, large costal water basins have been anoxic (as there is now oil there), so anoxic conditions is not by themselves some man made phenomena. It may be man made in the case in Oregon and in the case of the baltic, it surely does not help dumping all the polution from the rivers..

Yours Yazeran

Plan: To go to Mars one day with a hammer.

Re:It is the same with the Baltic sea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15989025)

Denmark has fjords? Since when?

Re:It is the same with the Baltic sea. (1)

Yazeran (313637) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989149)

Well that depends on the definition i guess (Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] ). Although Denmark does not have any of the typical fjords (as we have no mountains), the term fjord is used for any narrow inlet, of which Denmark has many. They are also the result of glaciation like the ones in Norway, although the lack of bedrock to make them truely spectacular (like sognefjord in Norway) make them just long narrow inlets.

For the interested, take a look at google earth and find the east cost of Jutland (the peninsular north of Germany) for some good examples of Danish Fjords.

Yours Yazeran

Plan: to go to Mars one day with a hammer.
 

Hi, my name is Lizzy Faire (5, Funny)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988547)

If those fish that are dying out there aren't worth protection under the free market, then they aren't worthy of survival.

Things that are truly important to humanity's survival will be preserved by market forces. Which means someone like Outback Steakhouse will take a genuine interest in their survival and will spend the money to stop these dead zones and prevent hypoxia/anoxia from happening.

If you really want to save the fish off of Oregon's coast, then put them on the menu.

[end right wing parody]

Re:Hi, my name is Lizzy Faire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988778)

Now there is a (Score:5 Troll) in the making folks.

Re:Hi, my name is Lizzy Faire (1)

Erectile Dysfunction (994340) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989610)

Ayn, I want to have your babies.

Hypoxia is a characteristic of hypoxia? (4, Funny)

cperciva (102828) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988552)

Quoth the summary:
They found that levels [of dissolved oxygen] were 10 to 30 times lower than normal, down to 0.5 milliliters per liter, a characteristic of hypoxia.

In other news, having low levels of dissolved glucose in the bloodstream is a characteristic of hypoglycaemia; having lots of money is a characteristic of being rich; and a complete cessation of brain function is a characteristic of death.

Re:Hypoxia is a characteristic of hypoxia? (3, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988613)

and a complete cessation of brain function is a characteristic of death

I thought it was a characteristic of a MySpace user? Or becoming US Defence Secretary.

Re:Hypoxia is a characteristic of hypoxia? (5, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989677)

and a complete cessation of brain function is a characteristic of death

I thought it was a characteristic of a MySpace user? Or becoming US Defence Secretary.

Why the rip on myspace users? They may not have our informed, moderated sci/tech discussion, but they do have girls there.

Re:Hypoxia is a characteristic of hypoxia? (0, Troll)

popsicle67 (929681) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989715)

Or President for that matter

Re:Hypoxia is a characteristic of hypoxia? (4, Funny)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988634)

complete cessation of brain function is a characteristic of death.
No, it's a sign you're destined for a career in politics :-)

Re:Hypoxia is a characteristic of hypoxia? (-1, Redundant)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988640)

What I'm wondering is what "10 to 30 times lower than normal" means. Is it -9 times normal to -29 times normal?

That's, like, anti-oxygen. Better be careful out there.

Re:Hypoxia is a characteristic of hypoxia? (5, Insightful)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988660)



Welcome to a successful Roland Piquepaille slashdot bait. He's a master of re-explaining the basic. In this case, he's speaking down to the reader from his intellectual pulpit.

Seth

Re:Hypoxia is a characteristic of hypoxia? (4, Insightful)

legoburner (702695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988699)

a complete cessation of brain function is a characteristic of death.


Try reading this site at -1 and you'll soon change this theory!

Re:Hypoxia is a characteristic of hypoxia? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988923)

Nah, /. just has a higher than average population of zombie users.

Re:Hypoxia is a characteristic of hypoxia? (3, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989215)

Try reading this site at -1 and you'll soon change this theory!

oh they're dead all right... what better place for a zombie than where everyone has big brains and can't run more than ten feet without getting winded?

Re:Hypoxia is a characteristic of hypoxia? (1)

NSIM (953498) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989728)

> and a complete cessation of brain function is a characteristic of death.
Are you calling GWB a Zombie?

Hmmn, I wonder were my ex-wife is at now? (0, Offtopic)

nihilistcanada (698105) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988553)

She certainly could suck the air out of any room, the Oregon Coast would just be a warm-up for her.

The REAL Reason (1, Funny)

UberGŁber (122601) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988554)

I blame Christopher Walken and Anthony Michael Hall.

volcanism (2, Insightful)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988557)

Could this be a result of imminent or undergoing volcanism? Perhaps a volcano is about to form or explode in the near future in the Oregon-Washington region and unleashes poisonous gasses in the sea water before unleashing its lava.

volcanic ridge/rift, most likely (3, Informative)

nido (102070) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988572)

I guess it's called the Juan de Fuca Ridge [noaa.gov] .

This dead zone is "most likely caused by underwater volcanism along the Juan De Fuca Ridge, which is about 20% volcanic along its 500 mile length. Occassional volcanic eruptions occur along the Ridge (Rift) which can create gigantic megaplumes of hot mineral water. Could be there is very little oxygen in the plumes, it most likely would have reacted with the minerals, leaving dissolved oxygen at nil."

Gigantic crab (4, Funny)

booch (4157) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988560)

a gigantic crab and fish graveyard

I'd like to know more about these gigantic crab. Are they bigger than king crab? I love to eat crab legs.

What? You mean that it's the graveyard that's gigantic? Damn you, ambiguous English language!

Re:Gigantic crab (4, Funny)

Mekabyte (678689) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988576)

Try to hit its weak point for MASSIVE DAMAGE!

Re:Gigantic crab (1)

clowds (954575) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988664)

This comment make me laugh so hard.

Oh my kingdom for a mod point.

Re:Gigantic crab (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988692)

I'm not sure I get it. I've seen the video. I don't remember the guy yelling. He seems pretty bored, as I recall. Is there some version I've missed with that huge increase in enthusiasm for those last two words?

Re:Giant enemy crab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988739)

It's Ridge Racer. RIIIIDGE RAACER!

BTW, what is it with Sony and crabs [newgrounds.com] ?

Re:Giant enemy crab (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988890)

They're going to put them in their mouths [weebls-stuff.com] , of course.

Re:Gigantic crab (1)

kinema (630983) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988708)

If you love crab I recommend staying away from king crab; it's totally overrated. Dungeness crab beats king crab any day of the week.

Re:Gigantic crab (5, Funny)

I don't want to spen (638810) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988982)

I remember an advert for an insecticide that 'kills cockroaches for up to 90 days'. I wouldn't look forward to that army of zombie cockroaches coming after me when they come back to life in three months ...

Re:Gigantic crab (1)

ofcourseyouare (965770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989057)

should be a 5 - funny
okay, so it doesn't really relate to the article, but it's the funniest post I've read on slashdot in a while -- nice sig too...

Re:Gigantic crab (1)

booch (4157) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989304)

Funny, +1

Re:Gigantic crab (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15989182)

a gigantic crab and fish graveyard

I bet someone attacked it's weak point for MASSIVE damage!

How did these gigantic crabs die? (2, Insightful)

Kazzahdrane (882423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988579)

Presumably someone attacked their weakpoint (needing oxygen) with massive damage (a lack of it). I love how games help us learn!

Wording (3)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988597)

"10 to 30 times lower." What exactly does this mean? One can only guess it means 1/10th to 1/30th of the norm, but I would think a professional writer would use more precise wording...

Re:Wording (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989537)

I'm glad you said that, because every time I hear someone saying something like "10 to 30 times lower", it makes no sense to me whatsoever, and I start to wonder if I missed an important day in math class. I associate multiplying something by a whole number with an *increase* in the value, not a decrease.

in other news... (-1, Troll)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988605)

The Spaghetti Science Monitor has interviewed Dr Jane Pommodoro about the phenomenon, says the scientist "while we can of course never be sure what is truly going on, we're currently investigating whether the water could have spontaneously transmuted into tomato sauce and back again. We're very excited because we found some basil leaves in the water carried back by the research ship."

Re:in other news... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988796)

Is anyone else under the mistaken impression that it's "Christian" (adjective) applied to "Science Monitor"? 'Cause it's not... Christian Scientists are regarded in kind of the same light as Mormons, Adventists, and Jehovah's Witnesses by many of the other denominations.

That said, the Monitor is usually not biased toward any fundementalist, creationist-only, everyone-else-bad viewpoint. I deride you for your blatant and closed-minded attack, sir.

Re:in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988946)

It is actually a good newspaper despite the name which refers to the "Christian Science" religious organisation which rejects modern medicine.

my bedroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988612)

my bedroom gets this problem after a large mexican food binge

CSM or ZDNET - Which is it? (5, Insightful)

mdm42 (244204) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988624)

If the article references the Christian Science Monitor, why the hell is the link to some linkjack blog at ZDNET?

Surely the original article (at CSM) should be the one linked, and not to some warmed-over plagiarised rehash at ZDNet? Do the /. editorship actually bother to check any of this?

Re:CSM or ZDNET - Which is it? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15989196)

This is nothing new. Roland Piquepaille has been submitting stories which invariably link to his own blog (which carries a pale imitaiton of the original article) for ages. There have been accusations that he is paying the slashdot editors for the service of publishing his stories. See http://www.google.com/search?q=roland.piquepaille+ site:Slashdot.org [google.com] .

Global warming is the reason! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988627)

The obvious reason is global warming as some scientists have said. So, thank you USA for not signing the Kyoto contract! Thank you for destroying our planet!

Even bigger issue (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988631)

Where the hell are we supposed to get our Soylent Green from if the oceans die?

People (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988647)

'nuff said.

Re:People (4, Funny)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989498)

You may find this diagram helpful:

Joke ---> .

          O
You -->  -|-
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Re:Even bigger issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15989183)

Watch the movie, dumb-ass.

USA IS IGNORANT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988657)

USA is ignorant on global warming related issues! USA - the biggest polluter on earth - did not sign the Kyoto contract.

READ [wikipedia.org] about it!

Re:USA IS IGNORANT! (5, Informative)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988703)

Lets not forget that China & India are also not signees.

Thus the three most populous continents on earth are simply not concerned.

Re:USA IS IGNORANT! (4, Insightful)

mark99 (459508) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988787)

It's always easy to blame the US for anything bad. It obviates the necessity of thinking things through.

Not that the USA is blame free, far from it. But I am amazed at what they get blamed for these days.

Re:USA IS IGNORANT! (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989044)

That's because it's probably their fault, somehow, somewhere! And if it isn't, we'll just pretend - because there's surely something else that they're not getting credit for, or something like humanitarian aide which is getting painted in a positive light!

Re:USA IS IGNORANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15989235)

Hmmmmm, an area of ocean that's completely incapable of supporting life just randomly happens to be off the US coast.

Yeah, definitely can't be the US's fault. Must be those damn Indians or Chinese! After all, they're nowhere near it!

More and more it becomes apparent that the US needs to learn some very basic thinking skills.

Re:USA IS IGNORANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988822)

Just as a heads up for the nondemocratic nations out there. In a Democracy the minority are at the mercy of the majority. If 51% of the people prefer head in the sand ignorance the 49% get the blame as well. I think Kyoto was pathetic in that it is far too little too late. Our fearless leader feels it's far too radical. Since he won two narrow elections in a row we are at his and his followers mercy. If you want to blame anyone blame Democracy and ignorance based fear not the minority that want our oil based economy to switch to a sustainable one. It's an over simplification to blame all americans for what our government does. It's the dark under belly of Democracy.

Re:USA IS IGNORANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988994)

Our fearless leader feels it's far too radical. Since he won two narrow elections in a row we are at his and his followers mercy.

You must be talking about Clinton since the 95-0 vote against the treaty occurred in 1997, while Bush was Govenor of Texas.

Re:USA IS IGNORANT! (2, Insightful)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989116)

Erm. China and India aren't continents, nor is the United States of America. Also the US is not one of the most populous, I believe that the EU as a whole has almost double the population of the US.

Re:USA IS IGNORANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15989133)

Yeah, but EU has signed. USA has not. Therefore USA likes to destroy our planet - money matters more to them.

Kyoto is a joke... (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989321)

... but "The US and China are the two of the three most populous continents" is even funnier.

Seriously though. Kyoto was a dead letter and everybody knew it -- look at how Europe universally welched on their quotas after signing it ("Um, oops, turns out we would have devastated our economy to make that... well, can't be having that. Oh, bad Dubya bad, you're a convinient scapegoat!") About the only people really enthusiastic about adhering to it, as opposed to playing kissy-face with their domestic Greens or greens, were the Russians, because they got to compare against their old Soviet Union pollution levels and the systemic economic collapse they've suffered in the interim has made it physically impossible for them to reach those pollution levels again. Oh, and the Chinese/Indians, who saw it as a method to restrain competitors while not having to commit to a single thing themselves.

Re:USA IS IGNORANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15989226)

You obviously don't understand. We are NOT ignorant. We know. We just don't care...

No mystery - Polution (4, Informative)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988733)

From the article:

"This overloads the waters with nutrients and spawns large algae blooms. The algae sink, die, and decompose, in a process that sucks oxygen out of the water and the topmost layer of sediment on the bottom, where many worms and shellfish live."

Fosfate/nitrate (among others) --> Nutritions for algae --> No oxygen

The "mystery" is where the polution is coming from.

Re:No mystery - Polution (2, Informative)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989197)

The "mystery" is where the polution is coming from.

It is also possible the whales, or lack of them play a part. Would say 500 missing whales eat a lot of plankton and algae? This would mean there would not be as much to fall and rot.

Maybe oil from Alaska leaking from old rusty tankers.

Maybe someone saved some disposal costs and dropped in 50 barrels of toxic waste.

I have seen this on interior freshwater lakes where in 1968 the water was clear, fresh and loaded with large and small fish. In 1998 I was back to the same lake in the same place, the loads of algae made it like a slime bog and the fish were scrawny, few and small. The mine shut down in 1996 and some heavy fine laws on human waste going into the lake was enforced and the lake appears to be slowly coming back.

Probably a combination of factors, but mankind is behind most.

My scientific explaination... (4, Funny)

H3g3m0n (642800) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988835)

Cthulhu

A great interactive piece explains this (1)

lunpa (253358) | more than 7 years ago | (#15988849)

A great interactive piece (complete with pictures, video and animation) on the L.A. Times website did a great job explaining this along other serious problems facing our oceans. A Great read!

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/oceans/la-oceans -series,0,7842752.special [latimes.com]

Gulf of mexico (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15988912)

Iirc there's also a large dead area (largest uniform area in the world) in the bottom of gulf on Mexico. It's from the toxic waste and pollution by concetration of petroleum industry on Texan coast.

Southern states, prepare for another hurricane. Your love for 10mpg SUV's comes with a price. You weep what you .. well, you know the drill. Storm alert, get some ammunition for shotgun so you can shoot food-looting african americans with national guard.

Christian Science Monitor?? (1)

Viriatus (886319) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989131)

Christian Science ?????? Only in america...

Our biosphere is dying ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15989261)

because of greed and stupidity.

Thanks alot, eh.

methane hydrates (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15989275)

They just recently found out that high concentrates of methane hydrates are found in much shallower waters near there. That and the recent increase in undersea vulcanism might have something to do with it (my theory to be cussed or discussed). The shaking might be disturbing the hydrates, releasing even just slightly more gas, it takes cold plus pressure to keep it locked up as a hydrate. I'll ask the chemist geeks here, how dissolvable that methane is if it gets released like that, and what might happen to the oxygen levels in the nearby seawater.

Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone (1)

MediumFormat (771662) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989344)

I'm not sure if agriculutural run-off is the Oregon culprit, but it most certainly is in the case of the Louisiana Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Every summer we get a zone about the size of Delaware that supports no life. Now granted it is only one segment of the water column that has the problem, yet still this is a massive man made disaster. Think of all the fertilizer that Joe and Betty Farmer dump into their soil each year. Think of all the mega farms, all the mom and pops, all of the planted acerage in the area that is drained by the Mighty Miss'sip. ALL of that nitroginous waste collects in run-off water that concentrates into the Mississippi River. By the time it is dumped out into the Gulf (and our man made levees do play a roll in this) the concentrations can be fairly high. The extra nitrogen leads to growth in types of algaes and water plant life that blooms. It then dies, and rots. This rotting eats up the O2 which devestates the wildflife living in those waters.

If Oregon is facing a similar problem I say good luck. Try telling farmers in other states that what they do hurts sea water thousands of miles away from them. Sadly, we don't stand a chance here on the Gulf Coast. No senator or congressman would shoot themselves in the foot by telling farmers to change their ways. Pandering to farmers is what they do best. In the mean time we get a deadzone. Thanks ConAgra, thanks ADM and thanks those who feed this dead zone. Oh well, guess with hurricanes and all getting the headlines the will to help us out has long since vanished...

Learn from the Lemmings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15989369)

Someone needs to convince a few of those little Hydrogens to occasionally jump ship from their cozy H20 homes so the whole neighborhood remains stable.

Upswell or River? (1)

knightghost (861069) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989400)

Could this be an upswell, polution from the Columbia river, or both? When I look at the Snake river (feeds into the Columbia) all I see is a bunch of green slime where there should be water. All the runoff from unregulated dairies have turned the river into a polution zone.

ooh i knoe1 (0, Troll)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989406)

geroge bush! he's the cause just like hurricanes!

My Aquarium (4, Funny)

Coppit (2441) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989419)

It's nice to see that even mother nature's aquarium sometimes ends up looking like every aquarium I've ever owned.

That explain's Newport's dead crabs (1)

tmh - The Mad Hacker (962953) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989457)

Hmmm, that might explain the unusually large number of dead crabs I saw littering the beach around Newport when I was there earlier this summer. I figured it was the normal wash-up-and-get-roasted population, but my wife said they were way too many, and most of them looked like they were already at least "mostly dead" before they washed up.

didn't we just see this in Australia? (1)

TREETOP (614689) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989512)

Was it me or was there another "dead" zone recently spotted in a bay in western Australia? Something to do with bacterial growth created by overused fertilizer runoff and illegal sewage dumping? Well, Duh. Anybody ever seen a pond full of algae?. That's the end product to bacterial growth. The algae's there because it's pretty much the -only- plant life that can eat the bacteria. Sometimes it's not a fair fight, though. That bacteria's mean. It's got toxins. About 1300 of them.
Some of them fatal to humans.

Other Mysterious Die Offs at CompUSA. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989607)

The area off Cape Perpetua on the central Oregon coast is now a gigantic crab and fish graveyard. It was first discovered in 2002,

I have noticed something similar next to the local mall, a gigantic device graveyard called CompUSA. It's downright spooky. The floor is covered with devices, some of which are outright broken, but all of which are dying in a money starved environment. Some people have pointed to DRM, others to vague notions of Monopoly, but the "experts" in the press seem to be stumped. All but a few give these products a clean bill of health and "must have" status, but the devices die anyway. What can be causing this disaster? The only real thing in common is a proximity to Washington state. Is Washington cursed?

I wonder (1)

popsicle67 (929681) | more than 7 years ago | (#15989672)

I wonder if this is like the die-off that everybody was horrified about in the early 90's. Turned out it was El Nino altering currents and everything went back to normal a year later
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