Jun 28, 2017 | Updated: 02:25 PM EDT

Coastal Ecosystem is Endangered as The Water Temperature Increases, Research Finds

Apr 21, 2017 01:29 PM EDT

A group of Portuguese dolphin blow off some early morning energy in the cold North Atlantic water on June 8, 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal.
(Photo : Amory Ross/Getty Images) A group of Portuguese dolphin blow off some early morning energy in the cold North Atlantic water on June 8, 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal.

A recent study finds the rising of water temperature poses a permanent damage to the ecosystem in the coastal area. When the water temperature rises, A greenhouse gas that endangers the health of ecosystem also increase.

In their latest research, marine biologists from the University of Georgia, James Hollibaugh and Sylvia Schaefer finds the correlation between the rising of water temperature with the accumulation of a greenhouse gas nitrite in the marine environment. Too much nitrate in the sea will increase the production of toxic algae that create a zone where no fish or animal can live.

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Nitrite is a gas which produced by the microorganism after they consume the ammonium found in animal waste, treated sewage or fertilizers. At the right amount, nitrite is beneficial, as good bacteria will consume nitrate as part of the nitrogen cycle and transform it into nitrate. Nitrate is the fertilizer for algae, but the accumulation of nitrite is harmful as the algae will become toxic for fish to feed on.

The research has been published in the February edition of Environmental Science and Technology. Profesor Holibaugh is the Distinguished Research Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of Georgia's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, co-authored the research from professor Schaefer who focuses her research on the nitrogen cycle in the coastal and marine environment.

Prior to the research, scientists believed the accumulation of nitrite in the marine environment is caused by the oxygen deficiency, but Hollibaugh and Schaefer tried to look beyond the fact to find the cause of accumulation. The answer is found in the rising of water temperature that drives the accumulation of nitrite.

In marine aquariums, nitrite is known to be the killer chemical that kills all fishes in the aquarium. Nitrite is the most toxic compound in the aquarium environment that will kill the fish in the marine aquarium once it accumulated by creating a dead zone. Watch the explanation of the nitrite and its effect in the marine aquarium below:

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