Lifeless Ocean Deserts Expand 500,000 Sq.Km. in Past Decade

ocean deserts image

Those black areas are the least productive 'desert' regions of the oceans. Image: NOAA

It's pretty well known that ocean dead zones -- oxygen starved areas such as the one in the Gulf of Mexico -- are expanding. But new research in Geophysical Research Letters shows that ocean 'deserts' are also expanding. Discovery News has the story on these areas where virtually nothing lives:Currently there are five ocean deserts (one each in the North and South Pacific, North and South Atlantic, and Indian Ocean), each one easily as large as the entire United States.

According to the latest research that while the overall area of ocean deserts hasn't expanded all that much, the areas in them most devoid of life have grown all the more barren -- expanding by 5 million square kilometers from 1997-2007.

Cause Not Fully Determined - Climate Link Investigated
As far as the cause of this, researchers are trying to determine what, if any, link there is with climate change. Angelique White of Oregon State University said:

It seems like the link with climate is there. It's hard to believe it's not in response to the billions of us living on this planet.

Get the full story: Discovery News
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