• The Dead Zones

    I had never heard of these until a few days ago. What they are, basically, are areas of water in which there is no oxygen and thus can't support marine life. What they are also is huge - Scientists say conditions are right for the Gulf of Mexico zone to exceed last summer's 6,662 sq miles (17,255 sq km). It is caused by nutrients such as fertilisers flowing into the Gulf, stimulating the growth of algae which absorbs the available oxygen. The volume of nutrients flowing down rivers such as the Mississippi into the Gulf has tripled over the last 50 years. The annual event has been blamed for shark attacks along the Gulf coast, as sharks, along with other highly mobile species, flee the inhospitable waters.

    The key to minimizing the Gulf dead zone is to address it at the source. Solutions include:

    -Using fewer fertilizers and adjusting the timing of fertilizer applications to limit runoff of excess nutrients from farmland
    -Control of animal wastes so that they are not allowed to enter into waterways
    -Monitoring of septic systems and sewage treatment facilities to reduce discharge of nutrients to surface water and groundwater
    -Careful industrial practices such as limiting the discharge of nutrients, organic matter, and chemicals from manufacturing facilities
    These solutions are relatively simple to implement and would significantly reduce the input of nitrogen and phosphorus to the Gulf of Mexico. A similar approach has been used successfully in the Great Lakes' recovery from eutrophication.

    The government is also funding efforts to restore wetlands along the Gulf coast to naturally filter the water before it enters the Gulf.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6904249.stm
    http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/topics/deadzone/index.html

    Well, I'm no scientist but it seems really simple to fix this problem: Stop eating meat and farm the land with respect.

    Anyway, here is a picture of a dead zone(it's the brown stuff):

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