What exactly is a dead zone?
The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone has been in the news on many different occasions. Sometimes the articles warn us that it’s the biggest dead zone we’ve ever seen (like this one); others say that the situation is not as bad as we thought (like this one); some say we just don’t know (like this one).
In general, a dead zone is an area of water where the level of dissolved oxygen is lower than it should be. It is called a ‘dead zone’ because most marine life dies from lack of oxygen, or leaves the area.
To learn more, check out this New York Times Q & A (“Tracking a Worrisome Dead Zone“) with ecologist Nancy Rabalais, executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. The interview covers all aspects of dead zones and related research efforts.
Some other helpful links:
- Microbial Life: The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone
- NASA’s Science Focus: Dead Zones
- Mother Nature Network: What is the Gulf of Mexico dead zone?
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.