Ocean Dead Zones, Chaotic Nitrogen Cycling and the Earth’s Survival
Findings that oxygen-starved ocean “dead zones” have doubled every decade [ark | moreark] since the 1960s, killing massive amounts of marine life at the base of the food chain, demonstrate just how sick the Earth has become. The new study in the journal Science found there are now some 400 ocean areas that are devoid of life with new ones popping up continuously. Ocean dead zones [search] most often result from nutrient rich river run-off — particularly containing nitrogen from fertilizers and pesticides associated with industrial agriculture — which cause algae blooms and low oxygen levels unable to support life. Climate change frequently exacerbates the condition.
Chaos in the planet's nitrogen cycle [search] is second perhaps only to climate change in threatening the biosphere's life support systems. The Earth's ability to provide habitat for humans and all life forms is deteriorating, as economic activities have overshot the carrying capacity of ecosystems. Dead zones show human activities can destroy all life in given area, and given continuation of current trends, the possibility of this occurring globally cannot be dismissed.
EcoInternet disagrees with the researcher's claims that it is unrealistic to try to return to pre-industrial levels of nutrients flowing into coastal waters. Only finding ways to achieve “unrealistic” actions such as ending greenhouse gas emissions and eliminating nitrogen from agriculture can save us now. Know the crises, be the solutions.