The Gulf of Mexico could see a record-size dead zone this year of oxygen-deprived waters resulting from pollution, US scientists have cautioned based on government data models.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecasts said the dead zone could be as large as New Jersey, or up to 8,561 square miles (22,172 square kilometers).
Dead zones are toxic to marine life and are caused by excessive nutrient pollution due to agriculture runoff. They are influenced by weather, precipitation, wind and temperature.
When there is little oxygen in the water, most marine life near the bottom is unable to survive.
“This year’s prediction for the Gulf reflects flood conditions in the Midwest that caused large amounts of nutrients to be transported from the Mississippi watershed to the Gulf,” NOAA said in a statement.
Oh yeah, and the fact the Gulf seabed is a nightmare of oil, chemicals, and other pollutants. Enjoy!