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Earth Science

Man-Made "Dead Zone" In Gulf of Mexico the Size of Connecticut 184

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-doomed dept.
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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Man-Made "Dead Zone" In Gulf of Mexico the Size of Connecticut

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  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @10:27PM (#47619525) Homepage

    Hurrumph. A redox Nazi.

  • Re:Nice (Score:5, Informative)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @10:30PM (#47619543) Homepage

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

  • Re:So? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ehynes (617617) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @10:45PM (#47619601) Homepage
    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? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 07, 2014 @02:07AM (#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:0.17% (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 07, 2014 @03:05AM (#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:So? (Score:4, Informative)

    by danbert8 (1024253) on Thursday August 07, 2014 @08:04AM (#47621563)

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

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