We are living in a exciting era. We have hand held devices which are computers, mp3 players, TVs, photo cameras, video cameras, as well as communication tools. (Either talking to your friend in the same village, province, region or at the other side of the world.) We can do business on line, more, and more people can work from home, and we can fly for a fraction of the price of a plane ticket twenty years ago. However we haven’t figured out yet, how to battle the environmental onslaught. We are killing it, but the planet is taking us with it. Today there have been reports that the Gulf of Mexico is going to be a huge dead zone on Earth, and it’s likely, more will follow. The reason that these dead zones will pop up is due to real life vampires which have been spotted by biologists.
What does a dead zone mean exactly? It means there is no marine life, no life forms that can survive there at all. (Due to the Vampires taking what’s theirs.) Environmental biologists predict that there will be a dead zone as big as New Jersey this summer. It’s not totally unique to the Gulf of Mexico. It has happened before in Texas, and Louisiana. However these areas were much smaller. The biologists know where the Gulf of Mexico dead zone originated, and why. They blame the fertilizer runoff from the corn belt which ends up in the Mississippi. The Mississippi helps the algael blooms to grow because it contains the right nutrients. These algael blooms then remove all the oxygen from the water in the Gulf, also considered real life Vampires of our environment. The prediction is that 8,500 square miles will be affected by these oxygen sucking algael blooms, sucking the earth dry just like blood from a real life Vampire victim. The reason that this year it will be so bad is because of the spotted Midwestern floods that washed even more nutrients into the river.
According to researcher R. Eugene Turner of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge: “The estimate is this will be the largest zone ever, unless there is a storm that stirs up the water, even if there is a storm it is going to be a very large zone.” According to the records that have been kept on the summer dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico the past year was the smallest dead zone. (However keep in mind that the records started back in 1985. Before that time the researchers do not know how big, or small these zones where and if they existed at all.)
The Corn prices are part of this equation. Corn farmers wanted to make sure their crops would make it, and applied large amounts of fertilizer according to Jerad Bales, USGS associate director for water: “A lot of the contribution to nutrient flow comes from groundwater, which can take years to reach the river, that means even if we take steps to cut nutrients, this could still be a growing problem for years.”
However we are not stuck with these dead zones forever. Or so it seems right now. So far the dead zones disappear once Autumn is approaching. (Maybe then would be a good time to visit the Gulf of Mexico, if you like to swim in water which is alive, and well.) The waves, and winds re-oxygenate the water, and breathe new life into it. Making the real life vampires in the form of oxygen sucking algael blooms disappear.
By Georgina Pijttersen