Guest
Welcome, Guest

Login/Register

Bookmark Bookmark

Dead Zone expanding in Gulf of Mexico

Dead Zone expanding in Gulf of Mexico

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Louisiana State University have predicted that this spring’s record rainfall would produce one of the largest-ever “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico.

What are dead zones?

Un-oxygenated “dead zones” appear in waterways wherever algae are overfed by runoff from human activities such as urbanization and agriculture – a phenomenon called eutrophication.

The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, fueled by the nutrient-laden water spilling from the mouth of the Mississippi River, is the second-largest in the world.

It blooms every summer, when warming waters accelerate the metabolisms of microorganisms, and it is expected to get even worse as the climate continues to change.

Eutrophication: Major Reason

The primary culprits in eutrophication appear to be excess nitrogen and phosphorus—from sources including fertilizer runoff and septic system effluent to atmospheric fallout from burning fossil fuels—which enter waterbodies and fuel the overgrowth of algae, which, in turn, reduces water quality and degrades estuarine and coastal ecosystems.

Eutrophication can also produce carbon dioxide, which lowers the PH of seawater (ocean acidification). This slows the growth of fish and shellfish, may prevent shell formation in bivalve mollusks, and reduces the catch of commercial and recreational fisheries, leading to smaller harvests and more expensive seafood.

What can be done?

  • Improvement of the purifying performance of waste water treatment plants, installing tertiary treatment systems to reduce nutrient concentrations.
  • Implementation of effective filter ecosystems to remove nitrogen and phosphorus present in the run-off water (such as phyto-purification plants).
  • Reduction of phosphorous in detergents.
  • Rationalisation of agricultural techniques through proper planning of fertilisation and use of slow release fertilisers.
  • Use of alternative practices in animal husbandry to limit the production of waste water.

You might be interested:

PM Modi calls for One Nation One Election at all Party Meet

PM Modi calls for One Nation One Election at all Party Meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16 June invited heads of all parties in Parliament to a meeting on June 19 to discuss ‘one nation, one ...

a month ago

One Health Concept (OIE) gets renewed interest

One Health Concept (OIE) gets renewed interest What is One Helath Concept? The World Organization of Animal Health, commonly known as OIE (an abbreviation of its French title), summarises the One Heal ...

a month ago

Daily News Digest:17 June 2019

17th Lok Sabha first session begins on 17 June The first session of the 17th Lok Sabha will commence from 17 June during which the passage of the Union Budget and other key legislations such as triple ...

a month ago

Banking Digest, 18 June 2019

Days in Focus Theme for World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2019 (Jun 17) - Let’s Grow the Future Together. Economy According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and De ...

a month ago

One Liners of the Day, 18 June 2019

Days in Focus Theme for World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2019 (Jun 17) - Let’s Grow the Future Together. Environment Newly established two highest weather stations in the world ...

a month ago

Two female scientists Ritu Kridhal and Vanitha to head Indias 2nd Moon mission Chandrayaan-2

Two female scientists Ritu Kridhal and Vanitha to head Indias 2nd Moon mission Chandrayaan-2 For the first time, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has appointed two women scientists - Ritu Kar ...

a month ago

Provide your feedback on this article: