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China Earth Science

China Third Country To Be Hit By 'Brown Tide' 129

Posted by timothy
from the can-we-find-a-way-to-make-it-edible dept.
ananyo writes "The species of alga that causes 'brown tides' in the United States and South Africa is also to blame for massive blooms along China's east coast on the Bohai Sea, researchers have found. The finding could be the first step to tackling the problem. It is the fourth consecutive year the country has been hit by the bloom (Slashdot's story on the 2010 bloom), with the situation worsening each time the bloom returns."
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China Third Country To Be Hit By 'Brown Tide'

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  • First the red flood, now the brown tide...
  • Sorry! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @10:11AM (#40673291)

    It's my fault; beer, pizza, and tacos when one has cholera is not advised. Sorry :(

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's nature healing itself.

    PH levels in the sea are rising. This a result of it. Let this bloom grow and it will eventually come in contact with a different PH level current or sea or ocean and disperse and die - the end result is a normal ph level.

    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @10:57AM (#40673815) Homepage

      It's nature healing itself.

      PH levels in the sea are rising. This a result of it. Let this bloom grow and it will eventually come in contact with a different PH level current or sea or ocean and disperse and die - the end result is a normal ph level.

      No, the pH (note the way it's typed - stands for 'negative log of the Hydrogen ion concentration') is DROPPING (becoming more acid - look it up).

      "Nature" doesn't 'heal itself'. It goes along working against entropy. Whether or not that happens to help humans is another issue.

      And while you're hanging out on Wikipedia learning about acid - base reactions and buffers, check on the articles about ocean circulations and gyres.

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @10:43AM (#40673685)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3007228.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    'Half of the fish species in the Baltic are at levels below the critical biological level, while pregnant Swedish women are being warned not to eat herring - a staple diet - because of dioxins. There is little dispute that St Petersburg - Russia's second-biggest city - is the Baltic's single biggest polluter, and behind many of the problems.'

    http://www.euronews.com/2010/02/10/baltic-nations-take-action-on-sea-pollution/ [euronews.com]

    'Northern European nations have been discussing pollution in the Baltic Sea at a conference in Finland. The Baltic is considered one of the most polluted waterways in the world. [...] “Today some of the richest and most environmentally-conscious countries on earth live on the shore of one of the world’s most polluted seas. What a tragedy. It is clear that something has to be done and quickly.” [...] “Today we are also facing a historic international challenge, which I would like to point to as as the issue of chemical and conventional weapons dumped into the Baltic Sea.” [...] Almost enclosed, very shallow, and fed by numerous rivers, the Baltic is a vulnerable sea. 90 million people live around its shores, many of them depending on the sea in some way or other for their livelihoods, but waste from industry, agriculture and daily life ends up in the sea. One of the biggest resulting dangers is too much algae. Excess growth of it robs the water of oxygen suffocating other species.'

    etc.

    Maybe the Chinese still can change this tide, err, that brown tide.

  • I initially assumed this was about indigestion caused by all the fast food restaurants opening up in Shanghai.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-26/mcdonald-s-no-match-for-kfc-in-china-where-colonel-sanders-rules-fast-food.html [bloomberg.com]

  • by asdf7890 (1518587) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @10:54AM (#40673783)
    Observe the Razorbeak as it tends so carefully to the fungal blooms; just the right bit from the yellow, then a swatch from the pink. Follow the Glow Mites as they gather and organize the fallen spores. What higher order guides their work? Mark my words: someone or something is managing the ecology of this planet.

    -- Lady Deirdre Skye, "Planet Dreams"
  • I have to decide whether to go with a scatological or racist joke. Hmm...

    Okay, how about, "Sorry, took me a few flushes to get that one down."

  • Ecologists in the crowd, what are some of the larger reaching effects of these kinds of blooms? I know it decreases available oxygen, but do we see an increase in food supply and booms in populations because of the newly available food source? Does it have any positive effects in the long haul to have these things turn up?
    • You end up with seacoasts covered in dead fish. The local birds are often fairly happy for a week or so, but since it's a one-time or only rarely and irregularly repeated thing there's no significant long term effect that I'm aware of.

      It probably also kills any corals and sponges in the area, so depending on how fully killed the reefs are you lose reef protection, resulting in stronger storm surges and faster beach erosion.

  • Maybe now Chairman Yang will listen to the Gaians about the benefits of a Green society instead of the wasteful Planned system.
    • by d3ac0n (715594)

      Heh.

      Except that the "Gaians" around here are pretty much 100% in the tank for a Planned system.

  • And make bio diesel out of it?

    • by bjdevil66 (583941)

      Just as soon as we produce enough biodiesel to power the ships that'll do all the scooping...

      In all seriousness, the people researching biodiesel aren't going to have any use for just any algae out there.

  • It's over-fishing. You over-fish the fish that eat the phytoplankton that cause the build up of toxins. Then Some earthquake happens because of the level of toxins in the sea floor, which releases all the remaining toxins which kills all the fish... continuing the problem. I thought we were working on more aquaculture to provide solutions for this.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin

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