Researchers have found the largest seaweed bloom yet sighted along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It stretches across 8,850 kilometers (5,500 miles) and is estimated to weigh 18 billion kilograms. Currently, it stretches from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico.
They have named the stretch the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt (GASB). Sargassumis a brown macroalgae or seaweed that grows in tropical oceans.
The algae receives its nutrients from the Amazon river in the spring and summer, and from West Africa in the winter.
The river is discharging an increased amount of nutrients into the ocean due to fertilisers and deforestation. Winds push the water on the surface of the African coast away; the cold water from below comes up to replace the water that was blown away. While it rises to the surface, the cold water brings along nutrients from the deep oceans to the surface, which helps the algae flourish.
Dr Chuanmin Hu of the University of South Florida and main author of this studysaid that their hypothesis is based on limited field and environment data. He said. ‘We need more research to confirm this hypothesis.”
What he can say for sure is that these blooms are not going away anytime soon, they might even increase. The researchers used NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) from 2000-2018. From 2011, they saw these patches increase in size. The amount of seaweed rose to such an extent that Barbados declared a national emergency because of its effect on tourism.
Other than causing problems for tourism, this algae does have some redeeming points. It provides a habitat for ocean animals like turtles, crabs, fish and it produces oxygen like other plants.
Anything in excess can be bad. It can make it hard for ocean life to move and breathe when it covers the surface. When it dies and sinks to the bottom, it suffocates the corals and sea grasses. Rotten algae also releases hydrogen sulphide gas that smells like rotten eggs, which is certainly harmful to the tourism industry.
The findings of this study have been published in the journal Science.
As we follow the planned launch of India’s second mission to the Moon, Chandrayaan-2 on 15 July, you can find our entire collection of stories, in-depth analysis, live updates, videos & more on our dedicated #Chandrayaan2TheMoondomain.
more recommended stories
AMLO says “El Chapo’s” life sentence is ‘inhumane’ as he is moved to supermax prison
The Mexican president has described Joaquin.
VII Sea Turtle Festival in Riviera Nayarit
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico – Turtle nesting and.
UNAM scientists develop chemical formula to preserve corpses without refrigeration
Scientists at the National Autonomous University.
Mexico: among the Top 6 countries with the Best Healthcare in the world
Mexico’s outstanding combination of great weather,.
Enter to Win a Dream Destination Wedding in Mexico!
Grupo Vidanta, the leading resort and.
Jungle set on fire to build real estate project in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo
Puerto Morelos.- 12 hectares of forest.
Isla Mujeres makes the Travel+Leisure Top 5 island destinations list
The island came in third place.
AMLO’s $7.4 Billion USD Tourist Train Threatens Fragile Ecosystem (Bloomberg)
One day last December, Mexican President.
Pre Hispanic Mexico, the ultimate trip for the solo traveler
Sceptical of this kind of travel,.
Two tourists kidnapped in Cancun’s hotel zone… One has been found
CANCÚN Quintana Roo (Times Media Mexico).