"The Ocean Is Suffocating": Mysterious "Dead Zone" In Arabian Sea Far Worse Than Expected

Thanks to advances in robotic technology, scientists have been able to study a massive "dead zone" in the Arabian sea - a region with so little oxygen that virtually nothing can live. Scientists began to observe the oxygen-starved zones in the 1970s - which naturally form in the deep sea, but are also found wherever excess nitrogen and phosphorous-based fertilizers run off into coastal waters.

By one account nearly 8-12% of the nitrogen fertilizer applied worldwide is lost from fertilized fields and transported to the sea. In some individual fields, the value can be as high as 50%.

Still more nitrogen is lost during the disposal of animal wastes from modern industrialized production of pork and chickens. Here nitrogen is lost during inadvertent overflow of waste lagoons, and nitrogen is transported to groundwater, which makes its way to stream channels. -blog.nature.org

By 2008, 405 dead zones - also known as Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZ) had been identified by Sweden's Göteborg University.

New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) has confirmed that the Gulf of Oman dead zone - floating in the strait bordered by Iran, Pakistan, Oman and the UAE, is indeed the largest in the world.

That's not all... it's growing.

Two robot submarines called Seagliders, each around the size of a small human diver, were able to collect data for eight months in parts of the Gulf of Oman previously unable to be monitored due to concerns over piracy and geopolitical tensions. 

We barely have any data collected for almost half a century because of how difficult it is to send ships there," said lead researcher, Bastien Queste.

What they found was stunning; since the 1990's, the gulf's dead zone has undergone "a dramatic increase" in both size and severity, and is now made up of entirely of low, or no-oxygen waters also known as suboxic or anoxic conditions respectively.  

“As part of this project, we went to the Gulf of Oman, which shares its water masses with the wider Arabian Sea, and found that the oxygen was much lower than we thought from the outdated data,” Queste told Gizmodo. “The region is now anoxic—essentially extending the Arabian Sea OMZ into the marginal regions, much closer to where people live, fish, and depend on the marine environment. Hence the growing concerns.

"Our research shows that the situation is actually worse than feared. The area of dead zone is vast and growing. The ocean is suffocating," Queste said in a statement.

"All fish, marine plants, and other animals need oxygen, so they can't survive there. It's a real environmental problem, with dire consequences for humans, too, who rely on the oceans for food and employment."

Aside from their impact on sea life, dead zones also affect the atmosphere, as the absence of oxygen dramatically changes the chemical cycling of nitrogen - a key nutrient for plant growth. Nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than C02, is instead produced, said Queste. 

Computer simulations of ocean oxygen show a decrease in oxygen over the next century and growing oxygen minimum zones.

However these simulations have a difficult time representing small but very important features such as eddies which impact how oxygen is transported.

The team combined their Seaglider data with a very high-resolution computer simulation to determine how oxygen is spread around the north-western Arabian Sea throughout different seasons and the monsoons.-UEA.AC.UK

What the team found was that the dead zone moves up and down between seasons - forcing fish to live in a thin layer near the surface.

“Management of the fisheries and ecosystems of the western Indian Ocean over coming decades will depend on better understanding and forecasting of oxygen levels in key areas such as the Gulf of Oman,” added Dr Queste.

And as Earth's population grows, so will agricultural output - which will only worsen the problem. 

Increase in land use, larger cities, and increased pollution will also lead to more nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, entering the water, which promotes more algae that later sink and get consumed by the bacteria,” adding that “It’s an incredibly intricate system with many moving parts!”

What's the solution? According to Duke University's William H. Schlesinger, dead zones can be mitigated from a "more judicious use of fertilizer, so that the largest percentage of it is assimilated by the crop plant of interest." He notes that we "need to treat nitrogen and phophorus in human and animal wastes as a resource to be recycled, not an unfortunate byproduct to be disposed.

Comments

californiagirl cossack55 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:52 Permalink

The combination of toxic chemicals from Monsanto, Dow, etc., the dimming of sunlight from excessive contrail haze, and dimming from increased humidity in the atmosphere (due to ionization of condensation nuclei by increasing cosmic radiation able to penetrate our weakening magnetosphere), is resulting in plant life not getting enough sunlight to photosynthesize and create as much oxygen.  The plankton and algae (which do photosynthesize and produce oxygen) become very dense near the surface of the water due the fertilizers, and shade the depths even more.  Less and less oxygen is produced below the top surfaces.  https://www.sciencenews.org/article/swirls-plankton-decorate-arabian-sea

In reply to by cossack55

Stuck on Zero max2205 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:24 Permalink

" inadvertent overflow of waste lagoons .."

Inadvertent phooey. All the giant pig farms put their waste lagoons beside rivers that flood every few years. All that waste gets swept into the Chesapeake Bay to the "utter dismay" of the agro-businesses that run these cesspools.

In reply to by max2205

___ read.between___ espirit Fri, 05/04/2018 - 22:14 Permalink

Cargill, "Helping the world thrive".

It owned 2/3 of the shares of The Mosaic Company (sold off in 2011), one of the world's leading producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients.

If You Drink Fluoridated Water, You're Likely Drinking Mosaic's Hazardous Fertilizer Waste. ... Rather the fluoride that is typically used to fluoridate local water supplies is a frequently contaminated chemical byproduct created during the phosphate fertilizer manufacturing process.

  • Mosaic Fertilizer, one of the world’s largest phosphate mining and fertilizer companies, agreed to a $2 billion settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • The EPA accused Mosaic of improper storage and disposal of waste from the production of phosphoric and sulfuric acids, key components of fertilizers
  • Fluorosilicic acid, another hazardous waste product of the fertilizer industry, is sold to US municipalities to be added to drinking water for the purposes of water fluoridation

 

By the way, it isn't just the water, it's in everything we consume, even organic products and every grocery item produced and manufactured in the USSA and a bunch of other fucked up countries which are also all being run by psychopaths.  I'm certain it helps the world to "thrive" when it runs off into the oceans.  Humans are destined to be one of the shortest living species on the planet Earth.  When you gotta go, you gotta go.

If the fluoride doesn't make you sick, watching this documentary will.  Stick with it when you feel like punching the doofus with the microphone.

https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/great-culling-our-water/

In reply to by espirit

Chris2 TheWholeYearInn Sat, 05/05/2018 - 00:39 Permalink

It's peak humanity.

That's all this is. Imagine the Giant Asteroid!  Food is scarce, the search for survivors and you find gays? Do you feed them?

I'm sorry I'm a naturalist, animals don't cross breed they don't even hang out together.

We are mammals and we are no different than the other mammals, except at peak humanity.

We are Atlantis. Time is not on our side.

The Great Creator has had enough of us, once again.

I'm okay with that.

In reply to by TheWholeYearInn

Tarzan Chris2 Sat, 05/05/2018 - 06:42 Permalink

That day is coming, when God has had enough.

Thankfully he promises to cut those last days short, because men are so damn evil, non would survive, left to our own vices.

Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness (the son of destruction) is revealed.
 

In reply to by Chris2

lincolnsteffens divingengineer Fri, 05/04/2018 - 20:35 Permalink

I think Helen Caldicott said the earth could only support a half billion people without degrading. "It is estimated that the population of the world reached one billion for the first time in 1804. It would be another 123 years before it reached two billion in 1927, but it took only 33 years to rise by another billion people, reaching three billion in 1960." (Wikipedia) People today consume far more resources per capita than they did in 1804.

 

In reply to by divingengineer

Stuck on Zero lincolnsteffens Fri, 05/04/2018 - 20:44 Permalink

Ocean dead zones can be very useful. They function as nature's septic tanks. Humans could throw all generated sewage, trash, garbage, solid waste etc. into the dead zones for a million years. Nature would simply smother it all and slowly suck it into the mantle. In 300 million years it would be pushed to the surface again as a unique layer of sedimentary rock from the "plasticene age."

In reply to by lincolnsteffens

Toxicosis cossack55 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:12 Permalink

This is impossible.  I was told right here on zero-hedge that humans cannot under any circumstances alter the natural environment in any way, no way, not happening under any stretch of the imagination.  And what do we use the oceans for anyway?  I mean it's not as if its part of the food chain or something.

In reply to by cossack55

nmewn Fester Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:05 Permalink

"By 2008, 405 dead zones - also known as Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZ) had been identified by Sweden's Göteborg University."

I'm calling BULL-SHIT on that accompanying map, there is NOTHING wrong with the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic. 

I'm thinkin those idiot Swede "scientists" need to get out of their lab moar often and go to the beach...maybe they'll get eaten by a shark ;-)

In reply to by Fester

nmewn Toxicosis Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:30 Permalink

I live in Florida, I can tell you with metaphysical certitude that there is no "dead zone" around this peninsula, its actually the opposite.

Furthermore, there has never been a "Swedish scientist" who had a chunk of meat torn off his leg by a shark in his lab. 

Now...prove me wrong.

/////

And another thing...

Just because "scientists" waste countless man hours (and taxpayer funding, by the way) chasing rabbits around, in search of their hidey holes, does not mean that time & funding was a productive effort.

When wrong, nothing of great societal value was produced but the interested gullible sheep sure got fleeced though didn't they? ;-)

In reply to by Toxicosis

nmewn Indo_Expat Fri, 05/04/2018 - 19:53 Permalink

Sooo, it is your position (you jabbering expat faggot) that the seafood industry in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia (and on up the east coast) has collapsed? 

If there is no oxygen in the water (AS INDICATED ON THAT DUMBASS SWEDISH MAP) of "dead zones" the little fishy-fish things can't survive to be caught and eaten by me.

I'm jus gonna throw this out there cuz Mayport shrimp are just as fat and delicious as they've ever been, faggot ;-)

In reply to by Indo_Expat