Pacific's 'dead zone' is larger than first feared
The oxygen-starved "dead zone" along America's Pacific Coast that is causing widespread crab and fish deaths is worse than first thought, scientists said.
The dead zone is a 70-mile stretch of water along the Continental Shelf in Oregon, between Florence and Lincoln City. In some areas the seabed is strewn with dead marine life - and the weather appears to be the culprit.
Oregon State University (OSU) scientists looking for weather changes that could reverse the situation are not finding them. Levels of dissolved oxygen critical to marine life are at their lowest since the first dead zone was identified in 2002. It has returned every year.
Strong winds pushed a low-oxygen pool of deep water toward shore, suffocating marine life, said Jane Lubchenco, a professor of marine biology at OSU.
After inspecting the area via a camera on a remote-controlled submarine, she said: "Thousands of dead crab and molts were littering the ocean floor. Many sea stars were dead, and the fish have either left or died."
The effect on commercial fishing isn't yet known, said Hal Weeks, a marine ecologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Al Pazar, chairman of the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, and a crab fisherman out of Newport, said this season is likely to be the second best ever, but most crabs are caught before the appearance of the dead zones.
Dissolved oxygen readings taken last Tuesday off Cape Perpetua, north of Florence, are between 3 per cent and 10 per cent of levels needed for survival, and near zero in some areas.
Smaller zones have been found along the Oregon and Washington coasts.
Are wind farms a health risk? US scientist identifies 'wind turbine syndrome'
Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
The truth about sharks: Far from being 'killing machines', they have personalities, best friends and an exceptional capacity for learning
Arctic squirrels blamed for climate change damage
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...