Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dead Zone

Man, it's not beginning, it's returned for the sixth year in a row.
"It does, indeed, appear to be the new normal," said Jane Lubchenco, professor of marine biology at Oregon State University. "The fact that we are seeing six in a row now tells us that something pretty fundamental has changed about conditions off of our coast.

"Unlike the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, which is caused by fertilizer washing down the Mississippi River, the Oregon dead zone is triggered by northerly winds, which create an ocean-mixing condition called upwelling.

This brings low-oxygen waters from deep in the ocean close to shore, and spreads nitrogen and other nutrients through the water column, kicking off a population boom of plankton, the tiny plants and animals at the foundation of the ocean food web.Normally, this is good for salmon, giving them lots of food to eat. But when huge amounts of plankton die, they fall to the bottom of the ocean, where they decompose, depleting the water of oxygen.

My emphasis. "...the new normal....", it's time to wake up the damnable ReThugs.

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