University of East Anglia (UEA) researchers have discovered that the ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Oman is growing. The area has no oxygen and it is a disaster for the sea life and for people that rely on the ocean for food.
According to the Health Thoroughfare, after using underwater robots called Seagliders, they realized that the ocean is suffocating.
The data collected helped researchers find out how much oxygen there was in the sea and how it was transported from a region to another. They discovered a huge area with almost no oxygen, and it was shocking news, as they were expecting to find some oxygen.
It seems that climate change took a toll on the Gulf, making the area grow bigger. The area is now larger than Scotland.
The Area Keeps Growing
Team leader of the research, Bastien Queste (UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences), said that the Arabian Sea has the largest and thickest dead zone, “as waters hold less oxygen, and by fertilizer and sewage running off the land into the seas.”
He also explains that there are natural dead zones with no oxygen at 200-800 meters deep in some waters, but the situation in the Gulf is “actually worse than feared, and that the area of the dead zone is vast and growing. The ocean is suffocating.”
The ocean is home to plants and animals which need oxygen to survive. Queste said that “it’s a real environmental problem, with dire consequences for humans too who rely on the oceans for food and employment.”
The dead zone in the gulf is also moving between the season, making fish live in thin layers close to the surface. Researchers have recently discovered this issue because until recently “piracy and conflicts in the area have made it too dangerous to collect data,” explained Queste.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.