Oxygen Depleted Zones Around The World Are Expanding and Climate Change Affecting The Sex Ratios Of Sea Turtles

Ocean Dead Zones Expanding Globally


Oxygen Depleted Zones Are Expanding Globally Along Coasts and The High Seas

Dead Zones are areas in the ocean that are depleted of oxygen to the point where life is not sustainable. They are found along coasts and some places in the high seas. Dead Zones along the coast are caused by water pollution, specifically increased nutrients that are discharged into rivers from point (direct discharges) and non-point sources (indirect discharges).

For example, the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone starts from nutrients deposited along the Mississippi River and accumulate downstream to the mouth of the Mississippi. During the Spring, phytoplankton blooms grow in huge numbers due to the increased nutrient source and are pushed out into the Gulf of Mexico. The phytoplankton eventually die off and sink to the bottom, where they are decomposed by the microbial loop. The microbes use up oxygen to breakdown the plankton. The amount of oxygen lost in the water is directly related to the amount of plankton available. In other words, a lot of oxygen is lost. The problem is compounded by the distance the Mississippi River can push the plankton across the Northern Gulf of Mexico, sometimes it goes all the way to Texas.

The high seas are also losing oxygen due to Climate Change. Higher global temperatures means the ocean waters can’t hold as much oxygen.

Dead zones are being found all over the world and a recent article on Mongabay explains why the zones are expanding. The expansion means we will see a bigger problem in the future including less seafood and healthy ocean habitats.

Climate Change Is Messing With The Female to Male Sex Ratio in Green Sea Turtles in the Great Barrier Reef

Scientists have discovered the Feminization of green sea turtles along the Great Barrier Reef and it is due to Climate Change. Higher global temperatures can affect sea turtles are there sexual orientation is temperature dependent while they develop in the nests. Scientists found that 99% of adults in the warmer, northern Great Barrier Reef are female compared to 65% in the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Sea Turtles are already facing major issues that are causing them to be categorized as endangered all over the world. Feminization is another problem that sea turtles face in their future and require the reduction and elimination of man made Climate Change.

Resource Of The Week

Check out Oceana-run’s Azula website. It highlights Ocean animal stories and exploration.

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