(Mirror Daily, United States) – It seems like the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is going to be pretty vast this year. According to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the area reached around 6,000 square miles.
Surprisingly, scientists do not regard it as beyond normal. The dead zone is a coastal water area where there is a very low level of oxygen that could represent a significant threat to fish, mammals, and other oceanic creatures.
Furthermore, it results because the agricultural polluted water invades the Gulf. Experts believe that active measures must be taken in order to reduce this contaminated water. These dead zones, also known as hypoxic zones, might occur from two possible causes, either due to human excess or naturally.
Hypoxia results from low dissolved oxygen in the ocean. This phenomenon occurs because of the high-level pollutants, such as phosphorus and nitrogen. They pollute the waters making them inhabitable for fish and other marine creatures.
Moreover, these highly toxic chemicals reach the waters after a heavy rain. Regardless of previous efforts, the dead zone in Gulf Mexico has not been reduced yet. It is also worth mentioning that phosphorus is one of the primary ‘ingredients’ that support the spread of toxic blue-green algae.
This toxic bloom consumes high amounts of oxygen and thrives in warm waters. The only way to stop its spread is by reducing the phosphorus level in the water and by a sudden weather change. Worse, these blue-green algae are also highly dangerous for humans and dogs.
Therefore, experts prompt people to avoid getting in contact with this bloom. Plus, because dogs swallow more water when they swim, the algal bloom is deadly for them.
NOAA’S forecast had the help of four computer models in order to make an accurate estimate of this year’s dead zone.
These models were developed by several groups sponsored by NOAA, including the U.S. Geological Survey, North Carolina State University, Texas A&M University, the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences/ College of William and Mary, Louisiana State University and the University of Michigan.
Hopefully, these statistics will raise awareness among people and will encourage them to bring their contribution to this initiative. Scientists will try to come up with a new approach to reducing the range of the dead zone in Gulf of Mexico in the future.