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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

More and more dead zones in the world’s oceans

There are areas in the oceans that have no oxygen and are completely unsuitable for the formation and the sustaining of any kind of life – they are the so-called dead zones. A new study has shown that their number is much greater than previously thought.

According to a study published in Science, climate change has caused the total area of dead zones in the world’s oceans to quadruple since 1950, while the area of coastal low oxygen zones has grown by a factor of ten.

This is particularly alarming because the growth of dead zones threatens the mass extinction of marine species, and the tragedy may cause a chain reaction with a catastrophic effect on entire food chains.

“Major extinction events
in Earth’s history have been
associated with warm climates
and oxygen-deficient oceans,”

the leading author of the study Denise Breitung, a researcher at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center told the Guardian. The scientist believes that the solution, that is to say the cleaning of the ocean regions in question, requires international cooperation, but she also emphasised that parallel local initiatives are also very important.

“Right now, the increasing expansion of coastal dead zones and decline in open ocean oxygen are not priority problems for governments around the world,” said Prof Robert Diaz, one of the reviewers of the study. He believes that the complete collapse of the fishing industry around the world would be required for decision-makers to take the problem seriously.

The oceans of the world provide 500 million people globally with food Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: The Guardian

Hungarian water treatment plant in Vietnam

It was announced in 2010 that the Vietnamese government would like to build a water treatment plant in Central Vietnam. Hungary is famous for its water treatment technology so they decided on a Hungarian partner.

The Biopolus BioMakery in the Netherlands

The Trappist monks of Koningshoeven Abbey have been brewing beer since 1881, and in recent years, they have also been baking bread and making chocolate, honey and cheese. The water to be treated is the wastewater from these brewing and manufacturing activities, together with the municipal wastewater from the Abbey and the visiting centre.

Over two tonnes of golf balls collected from Monterey Bay

Specialists believe almost 30 kilograms of microplastics has eroded from such a quantity of golf balls into the water.

Algal blooms grow more severe in the great lakes of the world

Over the last three decades, summer algal blooms in all large fresh-water lakes around the world have grown more severe – this is the conclusion of a global study, the longest ever of its kind, conducted by researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science and NASA. 

The Pacific cleanup may succeed

The system created by a Dutch inventor called System 101, whose first trial run, conducted a year ago, had failed, has started collecting plastic waste on the Pacific again.

Hungarian innovation to filter pharmaceutical residues

Many studies worldwide have shown that the active compounds of medications are released into the environment with wastewater and can easily be reintroduced into the human food chain from there. Filtering these residues out is an increasingly acute concern, but, thankfully, the world of science has already responded to the problem.

Garbage from Asia has inundated an island in the middle of the Atlantic

Researchers from Canada and Africa have found a massive amount of plastic bottles, originating form Asia, mainly from China, on Inaccessible Island, located in the South Atlantic Ocean. The bottles were probably discarded into the water and then washed up on the island from cargo ships passing the region.

Pharmaceutical residues in Hungarian waters

In Hungary, too, the active ingredients of various medications are discharged continuously into the environment with wastewater, so they can now be detected in surface and underground waters as well as in soils.

What can we do against pharmaceutical residues in our waters?

After being introduced into human and animal organisms, some pharmaceutical compounds are secreted via urine unchanged, and then, through wastewater, those compounds may reach surface waters that serve as drinking water supplies, representing a risk for both aquatic ecosystems and for the purity of drinking water.

Microplastics from an unexpected source

We’ve known for a long time that plastic food packaging, wearing car tyres and clothing made of synthetic fibres are all sources of microplastic pollution. However, a new study has identified a new source of pollution in our kitchens, or more precisely in our teacups.

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