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Oceanic Dead Zones off Oregon, Five Years Running Now..."You can smell it."

Oregon has decided to join Louisiana in having its own "dead zone." This one may or may not be human caused. It's not from river effluent like the one in the Gulf of Mexico, but is instead from the welling up of deep water that is lacking in oxygen. Why this water is coming up from the depths remains the subject of study. Regardless, if you get enough dead zones in the oceans, then one day the ocean will be...dead.
Some fish, such as salmon and rockfish, will race away from a dead zone when they can feel the oxygen levels dropping. Other bottom dwellers, such as sculpin and bullfish, hide--and die. Reports of massive dead Dungeness crab currently range from Oregon's central coast to well into Washington. Crabber Al Pazar figures that he lost thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars in 2005 after pulling up pots full of dead Dungeness crab during last year's dead zone. "There were little baby octopus, an inch or two inches big, climbing up my crab lines, trying to get away," Pazar said. "It's kind of a sad affair." This year's dead zone is reported from fishermen who've hauled in pots with everything inside them dead. "You can smell it," Pazar said.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are looking at another approach near Madelia, Minn.: planting trees, shrubs, and perennial flowers along creeks and riverbanks as natural filters - with an eye toward plants that could be used for biofuels so that these natural filters also could augment farmers' incomes.
As for the many human connected versions, there is no excuse for this. The below article describes only the "natural" (huge assumption) one when the massive amounts of dead zones around the world particularly around the U.S. littoral are linked back to overuse of phosphorous and nitrate fertilizers that get washed out by rivers into the sea. There it causes high level plankton/algal blooms well beyond their ecological balance. Like making alcohol, the little buggers breed at a superfast rate then die then as they decompose on the ocean floor they suck up all the oxygen at a much expanded rate, creating a widening "hypoxic" zone, killing everything in its path with de-oxygenated water, as mounds of floating, drifting, or sinking dead fish, amphibians, and crustaceans coat the surface for hundreds of square miles decimating the human economy in the area as well

I'm hardly surprised that the corporate piece below ignores that dead zones are human creations as much as the upwelling ones he cites! "The outlines of the problem [that the Oregon article ignores] are well established. Nitrogen and phosphorus from farms and urban runoff deep in the continent's interior eventually feed algae in the Gulf. The algae die, fall to the bottom and decompose, consuming oxygen. If decomposers on the bottom consume oxygen faster than it can be replenished, any finny fish or crustacean that can't outswim or outscamper this "hypoxic" zone as it builds gets smothered."



Offshore dead zones bedevil ecologists
By Winston Ross
The Register-Guard
Published: Thursday, July 27, 2006

FLORENCE - Dying phytoplankton have once again sucked all the oxygen out of the water along a stretch of the Oregon Coast this summer, creating a hypoxic dead zone that kills any underwater marine life trapped in it.

It is the fifth year in a row that researchers have spotted a dead zone in Oregon waters. And this year, it's bigger than ever, enveloping half of Washington state's coast as well.

"Something about the system that's very fundamental has changed," said Jane Lubchenco, an Oregon State University marine ecologist who has studied the phenomenon.

It's too early to know whether the oxygen-starved ecosystem can be linked to global warming, scientists say, partly because what's causing the hypoxia is linked to cyclical ocean conditions.

In May and June, strong winds over the ocean pulled cold, oxygen-poor and nutrient-rich water from deeper areas and brought it closer to shore, a process known as "upwelling." Normally, upwelling is good news for the Dungeness crab, rockfish and other species that thrive on plant life.

"Then the winds quieted down. We had no upwelling winds, a couple of weeks of very calm seas and all those microscopic plants that had been growing like gangbusters started to die and sink," Lubchenco said. "And the bacteria that began to decay used up all the rest of the oxygen in the water."

Ocean water generally has about 2 to 4 milliliters of dissolved oxygen per liter of water. Anything less than 1.4 milliliters per liter can kill a wide range of marine life. Levels in the current hypoxic dead zone have dropped to as low as .55 milliliters per liter.

Such dead zones are a natural phenomenon, and upwelling is stronger in some years than in others. Off the coast of Chile and Peru and southwest of Africa, researchers have documented upwelling-driven dead zones. The intensity and frequency of the events is on the rise in those countries, Lubchenco said.

The lack of correlation with any El Ninoor La Nina events combined with the dramatic swings of recent years could suggest a human link, OSU oceanographer Jack Barth said.

"What I do know is the climate change models for this part of the world say if you heat up the land more, you get a change in upwelling winds," Barth said. "They'll be delayed in the spring and stronger late in the year. That's exactly what we saw last year. What I'm comfortable saying is it's consistent with climate change."

In Oregon, the most vulnerable area in recent years has been the central third of the coast between about Newport and Florence, where conditions seem to be conducive to the development of low-oxygen waters, OSU researchers said.

If the dead zones continue, the effect on marine life and the people who rely on it could worsen. Some fish, such as salmon and rockfish, will race away from a dead zone when they can feel the oxygen levels dropping. Other bottom dwellers, such as sculpin and bullfish, hide when they sense something's wrong - and die.

Reports of dead Dungeness crab currently range from Oregon's central coast to well into Washington.

Florence crabber Al Pazar figures that he lost thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars last year after pulling up pots full of dead Dungeness crab during the 2005 dead zone event.

"There were little baby octopus, an inch or two inches big, climbing up my crab lines, trying to get away," Pazar said. "It's kind of a sad affair."

This year he's heard reports from fishermen who've hauled in pots with everything inside them dead.

"You can smell it," Pazar said.

 link to www.registerguard.com


Bay's 'Bad Water' Churns Unease
Summer's Low-Oxygen Zones Leave Sea Life, Locals at a Loss

By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 16, 2004; Page B01

NEAR POINT NO POINT, CHESAPEAKE BAY -- The bad water shifts like fog under the surface.

Some days, there's no sign of it in this shallow part of the bay off St. Mary's County, where Buddy Evans puts out his pots to catch blue crabs. Other days, he pulls up the pots and finds all the crabs dead inside.

"It's just like a fog. It rolls in, it rolls out," said Evans, a 37-year-old waterman from Smith Island.

What Evans and others call "bad water" has been robbed by algae of its dissolved oxygen, which fish and crabs need to breathe. Scientists blame man-made pollutants -- animal manure, suburban lawn-care products and treated sewage -- that act like underwater fertilizer for the algae.

For 20 years, this kind of pollution has been recognized as the most pervasive of the Chesapeake's many troubles. But years of effort to curb it has made little change: Last summer, when heat and high rainfall made the algae bloom heavily, about 40 percent of bay water lacked adequate oxygen, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program.

The season for bad water has come again. And in one recent week, a tour of the bay and its tributaries revealed a tide of frustration.

Aug. 2: University of Maryland

Robert J. Diaz, a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, was talking to a room of scientists gathered for a dissolved-oxygen conference. His presentation included one slide that summed up the day's message: "When you can't breathe, nothing else matters."

"Humans have not screwed up any other measurement" of the Chesapeake's health, Diaz told the group, "as much as oxygen."

The process of oxygen depletion starts in the bay's tributaries, including the Potomac, Severn and Susquehanna rivers, the scientists said. Rain washes animal manure and lawn fertilizer into creeks and rivers, and sewage plants dump treated waste. Even air pollution, released by power plants hundreds of miles away, can land on the water.

Through those kinds of pollution, the water absorbs large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients feed algae blooms that choke off light to underwater grasses. And when the algae die, they decompose in a way that consumes large amounts of dissolved oxygen.

The result is bad water. How much of it depends on rainfall; in a dry year such as 2002, less runoff occurs, and the algae decline. The bad water is more common in the deep channels of the middle bay, scientists said, where it doesn't mix with oxygen from the air. But winds or water currents can move it into shallower areas where crabs and fish are plentiful.

Because the bad water doesn't stay in one solid mass, scientists at this gathering said they don't like the term "dead zone" -- used by the private Chesapeake Bay Foundation to describe the low-oxygen areas.

In addition, they said, bad water isn't always dead: In some areas, there is enough oxygen for more resilient species such as crabs and oysters to survive.

"It's sort of like you and I going up to the top of Mount Everest," said Rich Batiuk of the Chesapeake Bay Program. "We can survive up there. But darn, it's hard to breathe."


3.


A bigger 'dead zone' this year than usual
Heavy spring rains poured high levels of river runoff - and pollutants - into the Gulf of Mexico this year.
By Peter N. Spotts | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

NEW ORLEANS - The Gulf Coast's notorious "dead zone" - a summertime phenomenon in which coastal waters become so oxygen-deprived that marine life cannot survive there - is expected to be substantially larger than average this year, covering a patch of ocean about half the size of Maryland.

The culprit is 2006's heavy spring rains, which sent more river runoff than usual pouring into the Gulf - laced with fertilizers and other pollutants that trigger the annual reappearance of the dead zone.

For most of a decade, government-backed researchers have studied the causes and effects of this seasonal occurrence, which threatens some of the most productive commercial fisheries in America. Now they are fielding pilot projects that aim to cut the amount of nutrients flowing down the Mississippi River.

In addition, scientists are working to perfect their annual forecasts. They hope to develop tools that will help fishermen find the more-productive waters, as well as help government officials weigh the costs and benefits of different approaches to reducing nutrients in the river.

Looking at the state of the science surrounding the dead zone, "the fundamentals are sound," says Eugene Turner, a researcher with Louisiana State University's Coastal Ecology Institute in Baton Rouge.

But ask whether there's much progress in reducing the nutrients flowing out of the Mississippi's vast drainage basin, he replies, simply, "No."

The outlines of the problem are well established. Nitrogen and phosphorus from farms and urban runoff deep in the continent's interior eventually feed algae in the Gulf. The algae die, fall to the bottom and decompose, consuming oxygen. If decomposers on the bottom consume oxygen faster than it can be replenished, any finny fish or crustacean that can't outswim or outscamper this "hypoxic" zone as it builds gets smothered.

One discovery of the past few years is just how knotty the problem is, Dr. Turner says. Each smaller watershed feeding into the Big Muddy has its own complex traits. Those watersheds support cities and towns with their own sets of environmental and economic concerns beyond the going price of a shrimp cocktail.

A study published last month by the University of Indiana's Todd Royer tells the tale. He tracked the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus leaving three river systems in Illinois for the past eight to 12 years. Not surprisingly, the heaviest nutrient runoff came between mid-January and June, during snowmelt and spring rain. But state standards for allowable nutrient runoff from fields were the tightest in the summer and fall, when low, lazy flowing waters and warm temperatures favor algae growth locally. State standards were less stringent during the high-flow periods in the late winter and spring, when nutrients are readily flushed downstream. Yet these are the flows that most affect the Gulf's summertime hypoxic zone.

If control strategies are designed to protect local water quality, "then this does it right," Dr. Royer says. But it shortchanges the Gulf, he adds. Thus, a fix-it strategy for the Gulf that relies on local water-quality controls may not do the job.

Potential solutions may include a shift in farmers' schedules - getting them to apply fertilizers in the spring rather than during the previous fall, he says. Or it could mean inducing them to use farming techniques that require less fertilizer.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota are looking at another approach near Madelia, Minn.: planting trees, shrubs, and perennial flowers along creeks and riverbanks as natural filters - with an eye toward plants that could be used for biofuels so that these natural filters also could augment farmers' incomes.

Indeed, adds LSU's Dr. Turner, "the overriding influence is land use." Noting that Congress will consider the next multi-year farm bill this fall, he says lawmakers might choose to cut conservation funds, or encourage farmers to grow more corn for biofuel - both of which could undercut efforts to stop Gulf Coast algae's annual feeding frenzy.

Uncertainties in how the overall river-ocean-algae system works still vex researchers, who are trying to refine their forecasting models. Currently, forecasts consider the amount of nutrients flowing down the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, says David Whitall, a coastal ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "But that's oversimplified," he says. "Our next-generation models will link river inputs with physical oceanography, but we're not there yet."

 http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0728/p02s01-usgn.html
yes 28.Jul.2006 21:25

.

if you think there is anything legitimate about the present format of government in the United States, you are seriously whistling past the graveyard. The United States is totally illegimate. It is a government that has institutionalized death. It's almost total evil. To support the United States as it is, is to support death.

See the video of Julia Whitty here on the health of the oceans--and you. It's about 30 minutes

 link to www.motherjones.com

[ 28.Jul.2006 23:24

]

It's almost total evil. To support the United States as it is, is to support death.

That about sums it up.

dead zones are the end result of the toxic science of chemistry 29.Jul.2006 21:19

brian

AS ive complained before, elsewhere, dead zones etc are the end result of the cult of science and esp the science of chemistry. The slogan in the 1950s used to be 'better living thru chemistry':

for eg, the title of this deceitful 2003 article:

Better Living Through Chemistry
DDT could save millions of Africans from dying of malaria--if only environmentalists would let it.

 http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2003/0303.gourevitch.html

Yeah, sure, Alex....

'The phrase "Better Living Through Chemistry" is a variant of a DuPont advertising slogan, "Better Things for Better Living...Through Chemistry." DuPont adopted it in 1939 and was their slogan until the 1980s when the "Through Chemistry" bit was dropped. And in 1999 it was completely changed to "The miracles of science®". '
 http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=61284

Instead, it should be reworded as 'Better Dying through Chemistry'.

Science whether chemistry, physics, or biology(its GM monsters now running amuck) have brought our world to ruin.

Dead Zone Causes 29.Jul.2006 22:57

Fed-up and individual action

The key factor as the article "Offshore Dead Zones Bedevil Ecologists"
by Winston Ross from The Register-Guard states is:

The problem with the upwelling is that it is caused by winds occurring out of season (normally February and March - now in May and June) and the winds (and resultant cold water nutrient rich upwelling) are immediately followed by a greater increase and change in water temperatures (due to the heat of summer) which promotes a very quick "kill-off" of organisms.

Please note: This kill-off normally occurs in the oceans, but as much slower process and is taken care of by the natural ecology of Earth and its organisms. Organisms that perform specialized tasks and have limited niche functions also have finite energy and cannot work quickly enough to handle the rapid change in (their ocean) climate. If the winds occurred earlier in the season there may still be problems due to increased surface temperatures of sea, air, and land by global warming. So, what has our government done?

Please note that there has been direct evidence (accumulated by NASA, but hidden from the general public) of a much larger solar system warming trend - see  link to www.enterprisemission.com.

There is also evidence (look up into the sky) that the USA (and other governments) know about the solar system warming and are feebly attempting to minimize the effect on Earth by spraying aluminum oxide particles in the atmosphere - the process has been given the name Chemtrails. Did anyone look up into the sky the day before the Portland heat wave of the last two weeks chilled a bit? The sky was painted with Chemtrails and within 12 hours there was a brief break in the heat, then the heat returned with a vengeance within 48 hours.

So what can we do?

1. Write your two Senators and all your Congressmen, State and Local legislature officials and tell them we want zero emission from corporate polluters and their vehicles (our autos) of destruction. Just stop it! We can also reduce our use of the vehicles of destruction by using public transportation, riding bikes, combining trips, and heaven helps us - get off our butts and walk.

2. Write your two Senators, and all your Congressmen, State and Local legislatures officials and tell them we want the multi-national aluminum oxide chemtrail spraying to stop. Just stop it! Let the atmosphere clean itself naturally. Also, aluminum oxide is toxic to most living things and the only ones who are benefiting from chemtrails are the corporate pill pushing pharmaceutical companies who further pollute this planet.

3. Monitor the weather, look up at the skies and pray to your God, gods, goddesses, and to our Universe that we will survive this quickening and we will strive to live in harmony with the Universe. Do it now!

4. Treat everything - animal, vegetable, and mineral with respect and humanity - even our fellow humans. Do what you can to help. Every little bit you do to help is magnified three to thousands of times - tell your friends! Do it now!