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Climate change causes the ocean to suffocate Dead zones are a ticking time bomb
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Climate change causes the ocean to suffocate Dead zones are a ticking time bomb
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Robots discover the largest "dead zone" in the world

The dead zone in the Gulf of Oman, where seawater no longer contains oxygen or life, appears to be much larger than expected and continues to grow. This is evident from British research with underwater robots. Scientists have suspected for some time that there is a large oxygen-depleted zone in the region, but large-scale research has so far been impossible because the region is plagued by tensions and piracy.
Golf of Oman seen from above
With Seagliders, special robots that collect data on the composition of the water, it is now possible for the first time. The robots are about the same size as a diver but can dive up to 1000 meters deep, stay in the ocean for months and cover huge distances.
Yello robot deplyed
Eight months under water

Two of the robots were deployed for eight months in the Gulf of Oman to measure the composition of the water. The aircraft communicated by satellite and drew a detailed map of underwater conditions during the eight months. The result shocked scientists: in a zone where they suspected a minimum of oxygen, they found an area the size of Scotland that was almost completely dead. "Until now nobody knew how bad it was, the ocean suffocates." 'Dead zones are a ticking time bomb, made worse by climate change because warmer water can retain less oxygen, and fertilizers from agriculture and sewage that end up in the sea,' says principal researcher Bastien Queste of the University of East Anglia.
'The Arabian Sea has the largest and thickest dead zone in the world. But until now no one knew how bad the situation was. Our research shows that it is worse than we feared, and that the huge surface continues to grow. The ocean suffocates."
dead fish flaoting at the survice at the Gulf of Oman
Effects

The consequences for the local ecosystem are incalculable, says Queste. 'All fish, plants and marine life need oxygen, so they can not survive. It is a huge ecological problem, with serious consequences for people who depend on the ocean for food and employment. ' Another problem is that in the zones the chemical cycle of nitrogen changes dramatically. Nitrogen oxide is produced, a greenhouse gas that is three hundred times more powerful than CO2. Computer simulations show that there is no immediate improvement in sight: the oxygen content decreases and the areas with a deficit expand.

By: Mondiaal Nieuws

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