Northwest Coast’s Ocean “Dead Zone” Is Climate-Induced

Researchers have determined that the summer “dead zone” that occurs along the northwest U.S. coast is becoming permanent and is due to warming climate. A dead zone in oceans and bays is an area of water depleted of oxygen that causes creatures to have great difficulty.

Jeff Barnard for Associated Press vis The World reports:

Orca photo from NOAA“The ocean dead zone that formed this summer off Oregon was less severe than in years past, but it looks like the phenomenon apparently linked to global warming is here to stay. Oregon State University scientists said Thursday that winds that are a factor in the severity of the phenomenon abated in July, allowing the low-oxygen waters to dissipate before they got too deadly to marine life.

‘It really feels like this is the new normal,’ said OSU research scientist Francis Chan. ‘We have shifted into a set of conditions where the likelihood of seeing this is high every year.’

While most dead zones around the world are formed by pollutants washing down rivers, the one off Oregon appears to be linked to global warming. It has shown up for eight straight years.”

See full article.

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Published: October 10, 2009