NOAA: Gulf is Dying

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posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 09:44 AM
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NOAA and Louisiana Scientists Predict Largest Gulf of Mexico “Dead Zone” on Record This Summer
Mississippi River Flooding is Major Contributor to Size of this Year's Dead Zone

July 15, 2008

NOAA-supported scientists from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and Louisiana State University are forecasting that the “dead zone” off the coast of Louisiana and Texas in the Gulf of Mexico this summer could be the largest on record.

The researchers are predicting the area could measure a record 8,800 square miles, or roughly the size of New Jersey. In 2007, the dead zone was 7,903 square miles. The largest dead zone on record was in 2002, when it measured 8,481 square miles. The official measurement of this year’s dead zone is slated to be released in late July. Researchers began taking regular measurements of the dead zone in 1985.

"The prediction of a large dead zone this summer is due to a combination of large influx of nitrogen and exceptionally high flows from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers,” said LSU scientist R. Eugene Turner.

The dead zone is an area in the Gulf of Mexico where seasonal oxygen levels drop too low to support most life in bottom and near-bottom waters. This low oxygen, or hypoxic, area is primarily caused by high nutrient levels, which stimulates an overgrowth of algae that sinks and decomposes. The decomposition process in turn depletes dissolved oxygen in the water. The dead zone is of particular concern because it threatens valuable commercial and recreational Gulf fisheries.
Gulf

Yet, people continue to insist there is not a problem. If there weren't a problems, I seriously doubt that there would be so much information to the contrary. However, we humans, as is typical, are living in denial. Then when it bites us in the proverbial ass, we will wonder what happened.




posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 01:19 PM
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It has to do with the offshore oil refineries, yet that is taboo to discuss.

Also after the hurricanes much of the natural habitats are dwindling and at high risk.

Dumping from non restricted areas off Mexico's gulf coast has also contributed to the growing problem.

I feel for the families that rely upon commercial fishing to make their living.



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 01:31 PM
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Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth

NOAA and Louisiana Scientists Predict Largest Gulf of Mexico “Dead Zone” on Record This Summer
Gulf

Yet, people continue to insist there is not a problem.


What, exactly, is the problem that you think people deny?

Dead zones caused by both natural causes and as a result of farm run-off is a very real problem we have been trying to combat for decades now. For example, many nations have taken steps to control the amount of fertilization and place limits on irrigation within watershed areas.

The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most polluted gulfs in the world because of the sheer size of the rivers that empty into it. At the same time, the Gulf's dead zones may be a major natural force in the region.

Consider the vast deposits of methane along the continental shelf. It seems likely that the huge cemeteries of marine life needed for the formation of a gas deposits came from a dead zone that occurred in the region thousands of years ago.

Jon



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by Voxel

What, exactly, is the problem that you think people deny?



The fact that we are in dire straights. We have been told, over and over and over that our seas are dying for the last 35-40 years, yet, we have been in naive denial about it. Now that the chickens are starting to come home to roost, we want to do something about it. I'm not at all too sure that it's not too late, honestly.

[edit on 18-7-2008 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:35 AM
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Hi Speaker,
I think the reports of increasing dead zones are down-played by the media.
This is a big crisis for the Gulf, as it shows what is probably happening in the oceans. We are just able to measure the Gulf with more regularity because of its size, in relation to larger oceans.
I personally live on the Gulf, and view the Gulf as a living organism. While the Gulf is actually appearing cleaner where I live, these reports of dead zones are blatantly scary to me.

I'm unsure if it covers it in the OP thread, but in these dead zones, almost nothing could live. This could be from pollution, desalination, farming chemicals as was previously said, or just the mismanagement of resources.

This article is another sign that we need to treat our ecosystem better. The scary part is that even if we impose strict regulations, the third world countries still will not adhere to them, which all in all does no good at all.

If we are determined to save the Earth, the actions of America are not enough. This will be a global fight.

I liken this to gasoline. Even if we start rationing gasoline, the countries who are just coming online with large numbers of vehicles like India will be increasing their use. So, should we decrease our use just so they can use up the extra? I'm sorry if I strayed from the topic, I just wanted to point out that regulating the U.S. is not the end all solution to the problem.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:41 AM
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In 1985 while vacationing in the Virgin Islands I snorkled on Buck Island National Park. It's a reef off the coast of St Croix and is an underwater National Park. It was very impressive and quite memorable. In 2004 my wife and I planned a trip to the Caribbean and I was excited for her to have the opportunity to see the reef at Buck Island. When we got on the reef I was shaken. It had mostly browned-out. There was none of the color that had been there in 1985 and alot of the coral was dead and dying. The change in 20yrs was breathtaking and heartbreaking.



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by ThreeDeuce
 



Deuce, you bring up a couple of good points. The desalinization of the oceans has been occurring for quite some time. I am not sure of the exact cause but I suspect it is the rising sea level and such which is the culprit.

Also, on the gasoline issue, I have to say that the best way to eliminate that is to find alternative fuels. However, quite honestly, we are another 10-15 years away from finding a workable system. We are going to have to deal, whether we like it or not, with fossil fuels for a while. :shk:



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:46 AM
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reply to post by jtma508
 


I can imagine. It's sort of like going to a forested area, and then hearing about a wildfire and going back to see it. It's never the same.

[edit on 18-7-2008 by SpeakerofTruth]



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 08:46 AM
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This kind of dead zone exists at every major river delta in the world. It's simply an area where fresh water meets salt water and takes some time to salinate. It's also where all the nutrients that keep the rest of the Gulf alive are introduced.

I expected it to be larger this year. We had flooding in the Midwest, remember? That means more water flowing down the Mississippi into the Gulf. More water flowing in means a larger area trying to infuse with the Gulf water.

According to your snippet alone, the previous record size of the dead zone was in 2002, and has dropped until 2007. The Gulf is not dying; it is getting an unusually large influx of natural runoff this year. If we see a pattern over, say, 10 years or more, then maybe there would be cause for concern. I doubt we could do anything about it even then, though.

In response to antar's post:


It has to do with the offshore oil refineries, yet that is taboo to discuss.


We run the cleanest oil pumping stations in the civilized world. The refineries are on land. No one is leaking $140/barrel oil into the Gulf so they can do their diabolical laugh thingy.


Also after the hurricanes much of the natural habitats are dwindling and at high risk.


The hurricanes are natural phenomena. No one made them (unless you want to mention God). The real problem was the abuse of the coastal areas by overbuilding them before the hurricanes hit. I think that was effectively corrected by the hurricanes themselves.



Dumping from non restricted areas off Mexico's gulf coast has also contributed to the growing problem.


I'll agree here, but it's not just Mexico; it's the US as well. Tourists tend to think the janitor will come around in the middle of the night and sweep the beach off for them. The first time I saw the Gulf was in Mobile, and the amount of trash that was washing up sickened me.

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 02:42 PM
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Redneck, no doubt, there are defense mechanisms against oil spillage and such. However, even with that being said, there is not and won't be a fool proof system that guarantees anything.



posted on Jul, 19 2008 @ 03:19 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
There's an old saying I agree with: "Make something foolproof and the world will make better fools."

Obviously, there are no guarantees (except maybe that there will be accidents), but we have a pretty good track record on that. We also have some environmental groups that do good things, like helping to clean up areas after a spill and saving affected wildlife.

I just think the real issue is all that trash that antar brought up. That is nothing more than the result of people who do not care, and it profits no one. If we could somehow get people to simply pick up after themselves, we could accomplish many many times what the GW fear-mongers even hope to accomplish for the environment. And it wouldn't hurt our economy.

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 31 2008 @ 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
I just think the real issue is all that trash that antar brought up. That is nothing more than the result of people who do not care, and it profits no one. If we could somehow get people to simply pick up after themselves, we could accomplish many many times what the GW fear-mongers even hope to accomplish for the environment. And it wouldn't hurt our economy.

TheRedneck



Redneck, therein lies the rub. From what I can tell, many people are more concerned about the economy than whether or not they have somewhere to live and survive. What good is an economy if you can't breath the air?

You bring up Anwar. What people don't understand is that they are taking a very small part of that land and drilling on it. For example, take a large dining room table and chip off a corner of it....that chip is what they are talking about drilling on.

With all that being said, I have to say that the energy crisis will not be alleviated until we develop alternative sources.





 
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