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Friday, October 10, 2008

Ocean Dead Zones May Be Worse Than Thought

Oxygen-starved ocean dead zones may be more widespread than thought. Spanish researchers found that many species die off at oxygen levels well above what is now considered uninhabitable. The new study suggests that the extent of dead zones in coastal areas that support fishing industries is greater than previously known.

Since the mid-20th century, more than 400 dead zones have formed along continental coastlines, where fertilizer pollution causes algal blooms whose decomposition feeds oxygen-gobbling bacteria.

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