Dead Zones Spreading In World Oceans

2590 words - 10 pages


Through countless acts of careless behavior exhibited by humans, we have caused a plethora of issues that have permanently harmed our environment. One example of a consequence that has resulted from our mistreating of the planet is ocean dead zones, which is commonly referred as a “reduced level of oxygen” within the water, where we lack “enough oxygen to support marine life” (Paine, 1). These dead zones are caused by a large concentration of chemical nutrients that are found within oceans, which leads to a large amount of algae destroying the amount of oxygen available within the zones. As we have continually increased our usage of fertilizers and the burning of fossil fuels (a well-known, notorious practice), the number of dead zones in the coastal oceans “have spread exponentially since the 1960’s” and has resulted in “serious consequences for ecosystem functioning” (Diaz, Rosenberg, 1). Dead zones create what is commonly referred to as a “biological desert”; a particular spot that should be teeming with life is completely dead as a result of tampering with the environment (in this case, ocean dead zones), and it will become a severe problem in the near future if we do not figure out a method to stop it, and more importantly, make humans realize that by not taking care of the environment, we are inconveniencing ourselves along with it, and not just our surroundings.
Within the past few years, marine life, such as shellfish and starfish, have washed up on shore, which means that a large amount of zones where the fish should be comfortably living are filled with an excess amount of oxygen, and thus, it is no longer an inhabitable area for them; this issue could be blamed particularly by climate change, or global warming. According to the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, global warming occurs when “carbon dioxide and other air pollution that is collecting in the atmosphere,” akin to a blanket that is increasing in layers, which results in “trapping the sun’s heat and causing the planet to have rising temperatures affecting the planet.” The climate change caused by global warming creates erratic, more extreme weather patterns, causing harsher coastal winds, which is also responsible for the constant upwelling of ocean waters, a major contributor to negative effects within the marine ecosystem. While upwelling is generally beneficial to marine life, it can eventually become harmful—If there’s too much of it, there might be too much oxygen collected as a result of all the upwelling, which can create dead zones, suffocating any animals that could not leave the zone on time. According to the Contra Costa Times, when winds blew from north to south during normal years, these winds drove surface waters offshore, which made room for deeper, nutrient-rich waters to surface. Now that the winds have become too strong and the upwelling is far too strong as well, what used to be a positive force of nature has now transformed into a deadly one that...

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