Apr 20, 2019 | Updated: 02:21 PM EDT

A Dead Zone the Size of Florida Has Been Discovered in the Gulf of Oman by Scientists

Apr 16, 2019 09:58 AM EDT

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Dead Zone That Was Discovered in the Gulf of Oman Said to the Size of Florida
(Photo : Associated Press)

A dead zone said to be as large as the size of Florida has been discovered in the Gulf of Oman by scientists. The area that covers an area that is approximately 65,755 is devoid of any marine life and all this thanks to human pollution as well as climate change.

Although scientists have known about the Gulf of Oman dead zone for around 50 years they have not been able to actually collect any meaningful data due to conflict and piracy in the region. But now thanks to underwater robots, a vast oxygen-depleted region "dead zone" has been discovered in the Gulf of Oman.

The new discovery is alarming and bringing to the fore a catastrophe that lies in wait beneath the ocean that is treating the future existence of animal populations in the oceans as well as possible destruction of underwater life. Fortunately, the scientists said that the damage caused doesn't have to be permanent. In fact, one study has suggested for further investigation into the Gulf of Oman case so an understanding can be found on how to manage the ecosystem of the Western Indian Ocean to curtail any widening of the dead zones further.

About Dead Zones

Dead zones can occur naturally in the deep waters of the ocean, but it is clearly evident that they are increasing in size and number especially at the bottom of coastal waters across the globe. Much of this development is now being blamed on the use of chemical fertilizers which end up being swept into the oceans waters during a heavy downpour.

What usually occurs is a scenario where agricultural runoff during rainy days, feeds oxygen depleted and greedy algae bloom into the ocean. Algae can block fish gills and also some species of photosynthetic organisms thus releasing toxins. Some of these photosynthetic organisms usually use up oxygen when they die and decay. Dead zones are considered to be dead because they can't sustain any marine life.

Bastien Queste, an official from the UAE's School of Environmental Sciences, said in a statement "the ocean is suffocating." Queste's team led the research that worked in collaboration with Oman's Sultan Qoobos University which then published the research findings in the Geophysical Research Letters which is a Journal of the American Geophysical Union.

More disturbing news is that computer simulations of ocean oxygen show a reduction in oxygen over the next century and a widening of the oxygen-starved zones.

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