In the Gulf of Mexico was formed by a giant dead zone
A group of American scientists found that in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of the United States formed a large dead zone — an area devoid of oxygen water with an area of about 23 thousand square kilometers. According to the researchers, it was formed due to agricultural waste flowing into the Gulf via the Mississippi river. It is reported by Gizmodo.
The appearance of dead zones — a phenomenon typical of the Gulf of Mexico. The average is 15 thousand square kilometers. In 2002, the researchers recorded one of the largest oxygen-free regions, whose area reached 22 thousand square kilometers.
However, the new dead zone that appeared this year, broke the record. It in 4,6 times exceeds the allowable limit set by the experts of the organization Gulf Hypoxia Task Force, which aims to reduce the level of pollution in the Mississippi river.
The decrease in the concentration of oxygen in the water (this condition is called hypoxia) is due to the fact that the abundance of nutrients in waters polluted with fertilizers and soil particles, leads to massive algae growth.
The death and decomposition of the latter is the cause of the oxygen depletion and the death of sea creatures. There are more than 400 hypoxic zones, but the area in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest of them.