1. Four steps to do the research on Ocean Dead Zones
As we all know, Dead Zones are very complex environmental problems. Nowadays, scientists categorize four major areas to study about dead zones. The first step is called monitoring, which means to monitor water’s condition by research or set an instrument to measure the temperature, oxygen and other variables. The second step is called a field experiment, which means researchers or scientists collect the samples to measure feeding or nutrient changes. The third step is called a lab experiment. Researchers will take samples back to the lab and do lab experiments. The last step is modeling, which means researchers put all of the information from first three steps together to build an ecological model to predict the situation.
2. Example of a current situation about Ocean Dead Zones- the Dead Zone is Expanding
It was said that dead zone has been appearing along the coast of Oregon since 2002. Lots of animals who live under the sea could not breathe and scuttle away. In 2006, a marine biologist from Oregon State University in Corvallis said that 2006 was the first year we had seen the dead zone expand. In 2006, the dead zone covered 70 miles off the coast in central Oregon and possible it will extend to 170 miles into the waters of Washington. In some areas, the zones were about 30 meters thick. And in both Oregon and Washington, residents reported that there were a lot of dead fish on the beach. When they went fishing or crabbing, the fish and crabs were all dead.
In the future, pollution or global warming can make oxygen levels declined and the water become warmer. Anoxic expansion will move more quickly. It is said that a form of nitrogen and an essential nutrient for life — is stripped from the ocean. Even more, a lot of unpredictable changes in the food chains of ecosystems will threaten fisheries. There will be a mass extinction if people do nothing to the environment. Some scientists thought that they would see the signs of a sixth mass extinction. There are three signs of mass extinctions: 1) increased hypoxia or low oxygen levels 2) increasing 'dead zones'3) ocean acidification. Now, all of these three have happened, so scientists have reasons to believe that mass extinction will come soon.