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Ocean Dead Zones

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Kyla Meadows

on 10 January 2013

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Transcript of Ocean Dead Zones

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli By Shelbie and Kyla Ocean Dead Zones What is a dead zone? What causes the Dead Zones? The cause of dead zones is the waste produced by phytoplankton at the surface of the ocean sinks to the bottom, where it is broken down. The processes of breaking down the waste uses up oxygen that other organisms require. Effects of Dead Zones Low oxygen levels have led to reproductive problems in fish involving decreased size of reproductive organs, low egg counts and lack of spawning.
Hypoxic(lack of oxygen) water supports fewer organisms and has been linked to massive fish kills in the Black Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
Low oxygen levels greatly change the ecology of coastal systems. Fish and mobile invertebrates can migrate out of hypoxic areas. Plants and animals that are slow moving or attached to the bottom cannot escape from the dangers of hypoxic water and die with extended exposure. Some species like the quahog, a type of clam, survive, and occasionally thrive “dead zones” in Narragansett Bay. The oxygen depletion causes their natural predators to flee. Phytoplankton,Humans, and Dead Zones Right now with more than 530 aquatic dead zones around the world, encompassing more than 95,000 square miles, dead zones are a major biological concern. Most dead zones are located in Europe or on the East Coast of the United States. The largest dead zone in the world encompasses the entire bottom of the Baltic Sea. Others dead zones occur in the Chesapeake Bay, off the coast of Oregon, Lake Erie, and the most famous dead zone is located in the Gulf of Mexico. And some scientists fear, along with human influences, climate change may also be making the situation worse. Marine life in the Dead Zone Bibliography Owen, James. "World's Largest Dead Zone Suffocating Sea." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 05 Mar. 2010. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/02/100305-baltic-sea-algae-dead-zones-water/>.

Staff, Msnbc.com, and News Service Reports. "150 'dead Zones' Counted in Oceans."Msnbc.com. Msnbc Digital Network, 29 Mar. 2004. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4624359/ns/us_news-environment/t/dead-zones-counted-oceans/>.

Biello, David. "Oceanic Dead Zones Continue to Spread: Scientific American." Oceanic Dead Zones Continue to Spread: Scientific American. Scientific American, 15 Aug. 2008. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=oceanic-dead-zones-spread>. Boesch, Donald F. "Global Warming and Coastal Dead Zones." National Wetlands Newsletter 30.4 (2008): 1-4. Eli.org. Environmental Law Institute, July-Aug. 2008. Web. 12 Dec. 2012. <http://www.umces.edu/sites/default/files/pdfs/db_WarmingDeadZones.pdf>.

"Dead Zone - General Collection." The Dead Zone General Collection. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. <http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/topics/deadzone/general.html>.

Howarth, Robert. "Bringing Coastal Dead Zones Back to Life." Actionbioscience. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. <http://www.actionbioscience.org/environment/howarth.html>. Biello, David. "Oceanic Dead Zones Continue to Spread: Scientific American." Oceanic Dead Zones Continue to Spread: Scientific American. Scientific America, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=oceanic-dead-zones-spread>.
Lash, Jonathan. "Agriculture and "Dead Zones"" World Resources Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. <http://www.wri.org/publication/content/7780>.
"Research Areas." Nsf.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. <http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/deadzones/climatechange.jsp>. "SCIENCE FOCUS: DEAD ZONES." â GES DISC: Goddard Earth Sciences, Data & Information Services Center. N.p., 21 June 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/education-and-outreach/additional/science-focus/ocean-color/science_focus.shtml/dead_zones.shtml>.
""Dead Zone" Is a More Common Term for Hypoxia, Which Refers to a Reduced Level of Oxygen in the Water." What Is a Dead Zone? N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/deadzone.html>.
"The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone." The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/topics/deadzone/index.html>. According to Dictionary.com the definition is: "an area in a body of water, especially an ocean, having oxygen levels that are not adequate to support life, such as shellfish threatened by an annual dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. "dead zone." Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 02 Jan. 2013. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dead zone>. "SCIENCE FOCUS: DEAD ZONES." â GES DISC: Goddard Earth Sciences, Data & Information Services Center. N.p., 21 June 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. <http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/education-and-outreach/additional/science-focus/ocean-color/science_focus.shtml/dead_zones.shtml>. Human Effects on Marine Environments Human activity has a huge effect on any Marine environment. The economy is a driving factor of human influence, since the economy pushes the fishing, farming and tourism industries. Farming and Dead Zones At first glance the two seem unrelated but in actuality farming is particularly important to the formation of dead zones. The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, is caused by major farming states in the Mississippi River Valley. Nitrogen and phosphorous enter the river through upstream runoff of fertilizers, soil erosion, animal wastes, and sewage. In a natural system, these nutrients aren't significant factors to the growth of algae. However, the increased nutrients, allow unlimited algae growth. When this happens, the food chain is altered, and dissolved oxygen in the area is depleted. The size of the dead zone fluctuates seasonally, in correspondence with farming practices. Dead Zones in the Gulf of Mexico The Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico fluctuates annually with the farming cycle.
41% of the contiguous USA drains into the Mississippi River, which then drains into the Gulf of Mexico, bringing with it pollution and significant runoff from farmland.
Every spring, a vast area of the northern Gulf of Mexico becomes a dead zone; Scientists say this year's dead zone could be the largest since records began in 1985, measuring between 8,500 and 9,421 square miles. The Spinoloricus Cinzia, lives in the Mediterranean Sea's L'Atalante basin which is almost entirely depleted of oxygen, or anoxic. It measures around a single millimeter. And it can survive and reproduce without any oxygen present. Most marine life can survive dead zones for short periods of time, but they can not reproduce with limited amounts of oxygen.

The dead zone suffocates the majority of marine life before they can flee to another area; Although, "The most famous Dead Zone" How do we prevent Dead Zones? 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 On a smaller scale Reducing fertilizer use on lawns
Creating compost from leaves, lawn clippings and food wastes. The mulch can be used as a replacement fertilizer .
Planting extra vegetation around rivers and streams since, extra vegetation will decrease erosion.
Picking up any animal wastes right away.
Supporting organic products that use little or no fertilizer and purchasing detergents that are organic and phosphorus free. Essential knowledge 2.C.2: Organisms respond to changes in their external environments. Essential knowledge 2.D.3: Biological systems are affected by disruptions to their dynamic homeostasis. Also fishing industries, coastal industries, and tourism are greatly affected. Some other causes: Fertilizer, as seen in the Gulf of Mexico each season Catastrophe, such as the rains from a hurricane, may carry nutrients in the topsoil to the rivers. http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/education-and-outreach/images/dead_zones_map.jpg The number of these dead zone sites are expected to double within the next decade. (2000) http://leisureguy.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/ocean-dead-zones.png http://www.growthproducts.com/prod_images/agriculture_home_image.jpg http://www.theexpathub.com/assets/images/american_hurricane-450x225.jpg http://inspirationgreen.com/assets/images/Issues/Fertilizers/deadzone.jpg Hypoxic Normal Pollutants create acid rain that falls into bodies of water http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/pollution/media/pol07a_240.jpg
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