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By Anastasia Gubin
What is striking is that the team of the US Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was unclear in defining the responsibilities of man throughout all these years, as to stop these effects. Although they recognize that it is because of the spills and fertilizers, environmentalists emphasize that there are no brakes on the agriculture of transgenic corn.
A NOAA report on June 24 revealed that large hypoxic areas have been detected since 1990 and what the research shows is that "human influences greatly increase their sizes and effects." The area they estimated for this year was 12,000 to 14,785 square kilometers (4,633 to 5,708 square miles). It is the "highest figure in history", highlighted Planet Natural.
The dead zone is the part of the sea with a lack of oxygen necessary to maintain the habitat of the species and its life.
As a result of the lifeless zone, NOAA highlighted in the report that commercial and recreational fishing activities were affected. According to the team, in recent years they "made efforts to recover water and habitat quality to increase the production of crabs, oysters and other species" of commercial interest.
Environmentalists believe that the effects are far greater and must be seen on a global level.
The report recognized in its development, that hypoxia and anoxia (without oxygen) It is caused by “the excessive pollution of nutrients primarily by human activities such as agriculture and discharges to water, which result in a insufficient oxygen to support most marine inhabitants and inhabitants near the waters edge”.
Other factors that influence this hypoxia are wind direction, rainfall, and temperature. Climate variables and oceanographic conditions "can affect the dead zone by at most 38 percent," according to NOAA.
It was useless that in 2014 the discharge of nitrates into the waters of the Mississippi decreased in one period, that of May. This same one went up in other rivers like Susquehabba and Potomac. All of them reach the "dead zone" of the gulf with disastrous effects on marine life.
In May 2014, 101,000 metric tons of nitrates were dumped into the Mississippi instead of 189,000 the previous year and 44,000 tons of nitrogen into the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers, instead of 36,000, the report records, indicating that authorities are aware of the discharges and according to NOAA, also its effects.
The population wonders whether or not there is a real concern to stop the discharges to water and fertilizers from agriculture. For some Americans, the dead zone is primarily influenced by growing GM corn, which necessarily needs fertilizers to grow every acre. The suggestion to stop this has had little echo from the authorities.
"Why do farmers use fertilizers so much? Corn ”, highlighted Planet Natural. “Corn requires a lot of fertilizer per hectare - 195 pounds - and much of it ends up in the waterways of the United States, especially in wet years like this one. The purpose of corn, largely genetically modified, is a “valuable” crop, not directly as human food, but as ethanol, corn syrup and other by-products, ”he noted on his blog in June.
A 1997 study showed that a soil survey is necessary before applying nitrogen to maize crops, as farmers were doing it without considering this. Today the Nitrogen problem worsens.
NOAA Director Kathryn D. Sullivan, who is also Secretary of Commerce for the Oceans and Atmosphere, celebrated the results of the research and the reduction of nitrates in May, despite the forecasts of the large dead zone. "We made progress to reduce water pollution in our nation," although he added that "there is more work to do."
"With this information we can work collectively to reduce pollution and protect our marine environment for future generations," he added.
The director of waters of the US Geological Service (USGS) William Werkheiser, explained that they have 65 sensors that measure water conditions online, and these will continue in the long term “monitoring and modeling. This effort is the key to seeing how nutrient conditions change in response to spills, droughts and the management and action of these nutrients.
The Epoch Times