Wikileaks on Dead Zones
Aquatic and marine dead zones can be caused by an increase in chemical nutrients (particularly nitrogen and phosphorus) in the water, known as eutrophication. These chemicals are the fundamental building blocks of single-celled, plant-like organisms that live in the water column, and whose growth is limited in part by the availability of these materials. Eutrophication can lead to rapid increases in the density of certain types of these phytoplankton, a phenomenon known as an algal bloom.
| || Limnologist Dr. David Schindler, whose research at the Experimental Lakes Area led to the banning of harmful phosphates in detergents, warned about algal blooms and dead zones, || “The fish-killing blooms that devastated the Great Lakes in the 1960s and 1970s haven't gone away; they've moved west into an arid world in which people, industry, and agriculture are increasingly taxing the quality of what little freshwater there is to be had here….This isn't just a prairie problem. Global expansion of dead zones caused by algal blooms is rising rapidly.”
Oceans suffocating as huge dead zones quadruple since 1950, scientists warn
| ||'The analysis, published in the journal Science, is the first comprehensive analysis of the areas and states: “Major extinction events in Earth’s history have been associated with warm climates and oxygen-deficient oceans.” Denise Breitburg, at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in the US and who led the analysis, said: “Under the current trajectory that is where we would be headed. But the consequences to humans of staying on that trajectory are so dire that it is hard to imagine we would go quite that far down that path.”'
[ In case that seems appropriately optomistic, look at this ]