Nitrogen is the main factor in creating the large and growing low-oxygen ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico. A Louisiana State University scientist, Eugene Turner, claims to have predicted this accurately. Turner said, he was 99.2 percent accurate in predicting the dead zone’s size this year.
It came in at about 6,662 square miles – which is about the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined!
Turner explains that, every summer, a sea-bottom area forms along Louisiana’s coast, which has too little oxygen for supporting aquatic life. Known as hypoxia – this phenomenon occurs when fertilizer, urban runoff, sewage and other substances feed the growth of microscopic organisms. As a result, they die and fall to the Gulf floor. The decomposition of these bodies, then, uses up oxygen in the lower layer of water.
This region created is called dead zone, which is dispelled during winters by mixing the low-oxygen water with oxygen-rich surface water.
Via: Associated Press