May 27, 2017 | Updated: 08:42 PM EDT

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Dead Zones Also Kill Coral Reefs All Over The World

Mar 21, 2017 01:22 AM EDT

Philip Kushlan, Ph.D. candidate, works on brushing algae from a piece of staghorn coral that is in a holding tank,
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Not only the climate change or the warming of ocean waters is the problem of living coral reefs, but also the dead zones in the oceans. The dead zone or the low-oxygen area that kills marine life also kills coral reefs, according to the Smithsonian Institution scientists.

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Not only the acidic ocean or warm salt water is the major killer of coral reefs in the oceans but also the dead zone, which has low oxygen. This is the very first study that linked dead zone to the bleaching of coral reefs in the oceans. "Ocean warming and acidification are recognized global threats to reefs and require large-scale solutions, whereas the newly recognized threats to coral reefs caused by dead zones are more localized," Andrew Altieri of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama said.

Altieri conducted the research after he suspected that the massive coral reef die-off on the Caribbean coast of Panama in September 2010was because of the dead zone, reported USA Today. There has been massive of underreported dead zones in the ocean, said Nancy Knowlton of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and study co-author. There is about one dead zone known to a probably 10 unknown ones, Knowlton added.

A dead zone happens when there is not enough oxygen in a part of the ocean for marine animals to be supported. It is also called hypoxia, which is a result of nutrient runoff from over-application of fertilizer on farms in the spring. Controlling and managing sewage and agricultural runoff into the ocean will lessen and ultimately stop the dead zone, stated Phys.org.

The dying of coral reefs in Panama due to dead zone was proven when scientists have discovered that it was not because of warm waters. There was only mass bleaching in the most under part of the ocean. In the shallow parts, the corals are healthy. Scientists tested everything they found and linked the results to the dead zone.