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Earth Science

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

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 rmdingler (1955220) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:17PM (#47619111)
    Of course there's anthropogenic change to the environment.

    We have gone forth and multiplied,

    to the great detriment of our bluegreen, slightly elliptical, biosphere.

  • How big is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by prisoner-of-enigma (535770) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:19PM (#47619125) Homepage

    To put this in perspective, 5,000 sq. mi. is a square about 71 miles on a side. Compare this to the total area of the Gulf (615,000 sq. mi) and you'll see this "dead zone" occupies just 0.8% of the Gulf. Is this something that needs addressing? Absolutely. But it's not some horrific cauldron of death like the headline tries to make it out to be.

  • Re:So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @11:55PM (#47620143)

    Or you could stop throwing food away. Growing food is not the issue, organic, or better yet permaculture will work. But distrobution, profit, storage and finally wastefullness all bite you in the ass.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes