In the Atlantic Ocean there is a huge stretch ofwhich is covered in algae called sargassum, also known as "sea grapes". Since 2010, biologists have seen their rapid flowering - at the moment the total mass of plants reaches 20 million tons, which is ten times more than the previous figures. Recently, they began to sink to the bottom and rot on the shore, thereby starting to scare off tourists with their stench, and choke sea creatures with their weight. Despite this, local people have learned to benefit from the abundance of algae.
To explore a huge reservoir of algae,Researchers at the University of South Florida studied satellite photos collected over two decades. In their opinion, the active growth of algae began after the enrichment of the central part of the Atlantic Ocean with nutrients. Their presence became known after scanning the territory for chlorophyll concentration - a green pigment, which is contained in algae, and gives the water a corresponding shade.
The biggest sea of algae
A large amount of nutrients in itsqueue may be associated with human activities. In particular, we are talking about deforestation and the use of fertilizers in the Amazon - a huge amount of substances that contribute to the reproduction of aquatic plants get into the ocean.
Sargassum seaweed shore
The benefits and harm of algae
When huge layers of "sea grapes"accumulate in coastal waters, they begin to deplete the oxygen reserves needed for the rest of the inhabitants of the ocean, like fish and crabs. When plants die, they fall to the bottom and crush all living organisms that do not have time to swim away - this is quite a difficult task, because the algae layer extends over 8000 kilometers.
Also, algae are often on the shore, andfrighten tourists with their terrible smell of rotten eggs. However, some locals have benefited from a large number of plants: they make paper, shoemaking material and livestock feed from algae. Also algae are saturated with vitamins, from which, in theory, it is possible to manufacture medicines.
Sargassum algae emit stench and repel tourists
How to get rid of algae?
Researchers are trying to predict floweringalgae, and at the moment they know that the peak of growth falls on the interval between January and July. The temperature of the water is strongly influenced by the temperature of the water - from 2011 to 2013 it was quite high, and at that time there were no particular problems on the coastal zones. However, if you do not take measures to reduce fertilizer emissions, plants will still be in trouble.
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