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

Microplastics detected in snow and ice

German and American scientists have detected plastic microfibers in samples of snow and ice collected in the Arctic. The researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven have found microplastics in snow samples from Bavaria, Bremen, the island of Helgoland, the Swiss Alps and the region of the North Pole.

There is plastic in rain

Microplastics have been found at a number of locations around the world from Antarctica to the deepest regions of the oceans. They have been detected in human and animal organisms. But now they turned up in a perhaps even more surprising place.

The Adriatic gets increasingly polluted

Wastewater and human waste discharged from ships are polluting the Adriatic Sea according to an article on the Croatian news portal Index.hr. At Koločep, just 7 kilometres off Dubrovnik, the environmental authority has banned bathing.

Beautiful island fallen victim to plastic

Henderson Island, a remote Pacific island that belongs to New Zealand, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – yet six tonnes of plastic waste was collected there in two weeks.

Sad record of a sea that deserves better

Based on a study spanning more than 20 years, researchers of the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) believe that the Mediterranean Sea is the most polluted sea in Europe.

Blackened fish caught in the Mediterranean

Water pollution in the region is becoming increasingly severe. Tunisia is particularly in big trouble.

Waste is a good catch in Greece

Fishermen in Greece, who agree to collect the waste caught in their nets and deliver it for recycling, get 200 euro a month.

Will we ever be synchronised with our environment again?

In a natural environment inundated with artificial objects, the delicate balance of finely tuned interconnections and highly functional systems is upset. This new asynchrony, this disharmony is highlighted in the performance of two young synchronised swimmers intended as a warning of the dangers of plastic pollution.

Sewage is destroying coral

Wastewater is more damaging to coral than the warming of the seas, a new American study has shown.

Huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

According to a new study by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, up to 17,000 litres of oil may be spilt in the water of the Gulf of Mexico due to a leak on an oil platform that has started 15 years ago.