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Latest Dead zone Stories

2011-01-10 15:04:31

Large hypoxic zones low in oxygen long have been thought to have negative influences on aquatic life, but a Purdue University study shows that while these so-called dead zones have an adverse affect, not all species are impacted equally. Tomas Höök, an assistant professor of forestry and natural resources, and former Purdue postdoctoral researcher Kristen Arend used output from a model to estimate how much dissolved oxygen was present in Lake Erie's hypoxic zone each day from 1987...

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2011-01-06 08:24:08

Persistent lack of oxygen in Earth's oceans affected animal evolution The oceans became oxygen-rich as they are today about 600 million years ago, during Earth's Late Ediacaran Period. Before that, most scientists believed until recently, the ancient oceans were relatively oxygen-poor for the preceding four billion years. Now biogeochemists at the University of California-Riverside (UCR) have found evidence that the oceans went back to being "anoxic," or oxygen-poor, around 499 million years...

2010-11-30 14:05:58

Australian marine scientists have expressed disquiet over the continued worldwide spread of large, dead zones in the ocean. Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and Professor Mark McCormick of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies have recently published scientific articles which raise concern about the impact of large areas of ocean emerging which are so low in oxygen that fish and other sea life cannot survive. Hundreds of dead zones are being reported around the world in areas that...

2010-09-28 20:12:21

Understanding Missouri River's Sediment dynamics key to protecting endangered species, setting water quality standards, says new report A new report from the National Research Council says that more organized and systematic procedures for gathering and evaluating data on Missouri River sediment are required to improve decisions and better manage the river's ecosystem, including protecting endangered species and developing water quality standards. In addition, the report finds that the U.S....

2010-08-11 15:08:10

The environmental impact of millions of gallons of oil still in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon incident may depend on microscopic helpers: Bacteria that consume oil and other hydrocarbons and could break down the spilled crude, making it disappear. That's the topic of an article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. It points out that the oil-eating bacteria are beneficial in helping to clear away the oil. Their...

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2010-06-30 06:40:42

The northern Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone, an underwater area with little or no oxygen known commonly as the "dead zone," could be larger than the recent average, according to a forecast by a team of NOAA-supported scientists from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Louisiana State University, and the University of Michigan. Scientists are predicting the area could measure between 6,500 and 7,800 square miles, or an area roughly the size of the state of New Jersey. The average of the...

2010-06-28 11:11:16

University of Michigan aquatic ecologist Donald Scavia and his colleagues say this year's Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" is expected to be larger than average, continuing a decades-long trend that threatens the health of a $659 million fishery. The 2010 forecast, released today by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), calls for a Gulf dead zone of between 6,500 and 7,800 square miles, an area roughly the size of Lake Ontario. The most likely scenario, according to...

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2010-06-07 09:05:00

While an out-of-control gusher deep in the Gulf of Mexico fouls beaches and chokes marshland habitat, another threat could be growing below the oil-slicked surface. The nation's worst oil spill could worsen and expand the oxygen-starved region of the Gulf labeled "the dead zone" for its inhospitability to marine life, suggests Michigan State University professor Nathaniel Ostrom. It could already be feeding microbes that thrive around natural undersea oil seeps, he says, tiny critters that...

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2010-03-12 08:42:24

As oxygen-deprived waters increase, they emit more greenhouse gasses into atmosphere The increased frequency and intensity of oxygen-deprived "dead zones" along the world's coasts can negatively impact environmental conditions in far more than just local waters. In the March 12 edition of the journal Science, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science oceanographer Dr. Lou Codispoti explains that the increased amount of nitrous oxide (N2O) produced in low-oxygen (hypoxic) waters...

2009-10-22 15:34:09

A team of researchers at the University of British Columbia, along with colleagues at the US Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Institute, has mapped the genome of a microbe that is silently helping to shape the ecology of oxygen-minimum areas in the ocean known as dead zones. "Microbes specialize in metabolic innovation and many can use alternatives to oxygen, including nitrates, sulfates and metals, breathing these compounds instead of oxygen. These adaptations likely enable them to thrive in...