Ocean Dead Zones One of the largest problems the earth is currently facing, in regards to the ocean environment, is the growth of ocean dead zones. The ocean covers more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface. Dead zones occur all around the world, but an increase can be seen near heavy agricultural and industrial areas (What Causes Ocean "Dead Zones"?, 2012). In 1960 there were 49 known ocean dead zones, now there are 405 dead zones identified worldwide (What Causes Ocean "Dead Zones"? 2012). The dead zones lack oxygen levels during certain times of the year limiting the aquatic animal life in the ocean. This problem isn’t caused by the activity in the ocean, but is caused by the activity on land. Ocean dead zones are forming due to the changes in the climate and the amount of runoffs draining into an ocean. Dead zones are areas of low oxygen levels that are insufficient with animal needs causing them to die. The largest worldwide is the Baltic Sea (Zielinski, S. 2014). Unlike other dead zones occurring in different seasons, this area has a dead zone all year around . (Wurzbacher, 2011). The next largest is in the Gulf of Mexico. This area forms mostly along the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes, but there is no part of the Earth that is protected (“What is a dead zone?” 2014). Looking back to the mid 1900’s, there were a few oil spills that happened. In 1968 the largest oil spill was then the Mandoil II spilled approximately 300,000
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The oceans need to be protected because it is where life began and if not taken care of, life as we know it will end. The well-being of the ocean is constantly being threatened and needs to stop. When dangerous substances go into the ocean, ecosystems suffer and become endangered along with the lives of people and marine life. The importance of protecting and preserving the quality and biodiversity of the world 's coasts must be recognized because they are truly irreplaceable. If humans are not educated , and become careless about what is thrown on the ground or sprayed on lawns, disastrous effects follow when it comes to the condition of the ocean’s ecosystems, which can endanger life itself, leading to a problem only we can correct. There is historical evidence of ocean pollution, although the problem still shadows us today.
Oceans cover approximately 75% of Earth 's surface and are vital to this planet and the people who inhabit it. Oceans provide food, natural resources, and recreation for nearly everyone in this world. Unfortunately Oceans have been receiving mass amount of pollutants including oil spills, toxic waste dumping, and industrial dumping. These pollutants will have negative impacts on the wildlife in the ocean, as we are seeing already with the Coral Reefs, and soon enough it will begin to affect our lives as well.
Lastly, I will explain the dead zone of the chesapeake Bay. Excessive Nitrogen and Phosphrous pollution from human activities cause “Dead Zones” , which are areas with low amounts of oxygen. With little or no oxygen, fish, crabs, oysters, and other aquatic animals literally suffocate. Further excess in nutrients also fuels the growth of dense algae blooms that block sunlight that underwater grasses need to grow in order to continue providing food for waterfowl and shelter for blue crabs and juvenile fish. (Chesapeake Bay Foundation) (Dead Zones)
As humanity continues to prosper agriculturally, industrially, and in population, companies, as well as local communities, have obsessively used the Ocean to toss their waste without consequences. The formation of dead zones has been intensified by the increase runoff of fertilizers and the burning of fossil fuels. Enhanced primary production causes algae to bloom at a constant rate creating a layer near the surface. This layer acts as a roof to vegetation below resulting in a lack of oxygen which organisms use to live. According to Robert Diaz and Rutger Rosenberg, “Dead zones have now been reported from more than 400 systems, affecting a total area of more than 245,000 square kilometers, and are probably a key stressor on marine ecosystems.” Specifically, the Chesapeake Bay has been polluted to the point where areas have now been uninhabitable to marine life. Although waste disposal is a difficult issue to solve, polluting bodies of water endangers the marine life, environment, and health of organisms.
The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is one of many throughout the world. There are many factors that cause the dead zone and not all dead zones are caused from the same things. In the Gulf of Mexico the dead zone is cause by nitrogen and phosphorus (fertilizer) go into the gulf and trigger phytoplankton blooms or algae blooms. First the oxygen rich water comes into the gulf and stratifies going to the bottom. Then the majority of the the nitrogen and phosphorus from agriculture and urban run offs from the Mississippi River watershed flow in the spring and early summer. For example 70% come from where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers meet, 39% come from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, 22% come from Ohio river basin, and 11% from the Missouri river basin, and the rest come from Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Next the phytoplankton use all that fertilizer and die. Then the phytoplankton falls to the bottom of the sea and decomposes using all the oxygen. Then because of water stratification the oxygen levels on the bottom do not get
The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is a human problem, like most other disasters. What this means is that once the place thrived and was ecologically balanced, but we tipped the balance slightly and wrecked havoc upon the environment. It has been noted to occur since the 1950’s and is ongoing. The reason that this dead zone occurs is because of a phenomenon known as eutrophication. Eutrophication is when there is an excessive amount of nutrients in a body of water and it causes an abundance of plants to grow. In this case the nearby farms had been using nitrogen in their fertilizers. The nitrogen got carried into the ocean through rain and other forms of
In this episode of the BBC documentary series, “The Blue Planet: Open Ocean,” we were able to explore the abundance and complications of the open ocean, the pelagic zone. Over 60% of our planet is covered by the ocean, yet the deep sea is largely still unknown. We know more about the moon than what we know about the deep ocean. The temperature and the level of sunlight decrease as the depth increases. The ocean may appear uniform from the surface, but there is several layers to the ocean. The pelagic zone contains the most area of the open ocean. The zone includes everything except for the coastal waters and the sea floor. However, even within this area, there are variation since some part is lifeless with very little amount of organisms and
The article I chose relates to the dead zone found in the Gulf of Mexico every year. There is a location in the Gulf of Mexico known as a hypoxic zone, which is an area with depleted oxygen levels. This is a result of nutrient run-off from the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin. The rivers receive a large amount of nutrients from many sources, including but not limited to, fertilizers from farmlands and golf courses, to urban runoff, sewer treatment plant discharge, and atmospheric nitrogen deposits.
First, a “National Geographic Society”, (2011) article had detailed about a problem called a “ Dead Zone”. Dead zones are caused by the eutrophication of rivers, lakes, and oceans. When there are too many nutrients or too much fertilizer run off in an aquatic area causes something called an “Algae Bloom”. When the algae grows it covers the water's surface preventing sunlight from penetrating the water, which in time prevents aquatic plants from making oxygen and leaves the fish with little air to breathe thus causing a dead zone. Today in the Gulf of Mexico the is a dead zone the size of Connecticut, Connecticut is 5,543 square miles!
“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, which funded the scientists' research, estimates that the dead zone costs U.S. seafood and tourism industries $82 million a year. The impact could be devastating to the Gulf's seafood industry, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the nation's seafood. Louisiana is second in seafood production only to Alaska.”(“nature.org”). As a result of the hypoxic zone created, fish move further out into sea to avoid being trapped in the zone, causing fishermen to spend more time and money to acquire the usual catches. A more severe extent of what an anthropogenic dead zone can create bring threats to the drinking water, and form acid rain or smog.
Sediment collected from the riverbank as the river flows downstream is also a problem; it increases the turbidity of the river, and this makes it difficult for plants to receive the necessary sunlight needed for survival. When these plants die, there is less food for fish and other river animals. Bacteria levels also rise in the water, because it can cling to sediment very easily. When there is more sediment, there are more places for the bacteria to collect. (Helsel & Mueller, 2009). All of these problems are occurring as the water is flowing along the river banks, collecting even more sediment, and pollutants as it travels downstream and deposits into the Gulf of Mexico. When all of this sediment, nitrogen and bacteria flow into the Gulf of Mexico, it causes changes in the water there. The increase in the level of nitrogen causes plankton to grow faster. When the plankton decomposes it takes a large amount of oxygen out of the water. The bacteria break down the decomposed plankton, which releases carbon dioxide, taking increasing levels of oxygen out of the water in the Gulf. Eventually the level of oxygen decreases to a point where most living organisms cannot survive. Some animals flee while other plants and animals that cannot leave usually die. This is referred to as the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. (Gulf of Mexico; NOAA, 2009). With an expected increase in the size
Ocean pollution is one of the most urgent issues in our world today. The ocean is crucial to our ecosystem and it is being severely damaged at an alarmingly increasing rate. In this paper I will educate about the role the ocean plays in our beautiful Earth, why it is being so widely ignored and dismissed, the causes of pollution, and its effects on animals and humans alike.
The oceans of the world seem to be under attack from mankind and nature itself. Global warming is causing the melting of the polar ice causing the level of the oceans to rise. Garbage patches of plastic particles are floating in huge areas with some settling to the ocean floor. Acidification of the ocean water from fertilizer use is causing large so called dead zones where oxygen deprivation kills off plant and aquatic life. Many areas of the ocean have been dumping grounds for garbage, whether sludge like, solid, or chemical in nature. This paper will concentrate on the dead zones of the oceans, their causes, and the possible solutions to this problem.