Florida braces for 5,000-mile-wide stinky seaweed blob — and a toxic algal bloom -Dlight News

Florida braces for 5,000-mile-wide stinky seaweed blob — and a toxic algal bloom

Mother Nature seems to gather some of Florida’s most popular beaches with stinky algae just in time for thousands of spring breakers to descend on the Sunshine State. Blooms of toxic algae known as red tide are killing fish along the Gulf Coast and in South Florida, kicking up a putrid stench. Now, a giant blob of seaweed twice as wide as the US is drifting into the Atlantic Ocean and could wash ashore in Florida in the coming months, causing an even bigger mess. It’s not just the smell that’s a concern. Sea breezes can carry toxins released ashore by red tides, which can cause health problems in people including coughing, sore throats and itchy eyes. But more serious respiratory effects should also be considered. “Floridians on the Gulf Coast are probably most familiar with Karenia brevis, the organism that causes our own red tides, which can result in massive fish kills, neurotoxic shellfish poisoning for marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds and humans. and respiratory effects, especially for people with asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions,” say researchers at the Mott Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. For spring break or those planning trips to Florida in the coming weeks and months, tourist sites to deal with red tide There’s some advice, which in some cases can be as simple as moving a few yards down the beach. Read more. A New York Post headline, “Sparingly Covered Spring Break Revelers Unleash Pent-Up Rage in Boozy Beach Brawls,” suggests that smelly beaches may Not removing all the college kids. The latest red tide map shows that red tide is present in beach locations north of the Tampa Bay area south of Naples. The current red tide outbreak is over. Found as far north as Pasco County and as far south as the Florida Keys in Monroe County. The algae occurs naturally and is not new to coastal areas, but professors at Florida Gulf Coast University are investigating whether pollution is making the bloom worse. “The big concern now is that our beaches are more developed and there are a lot more people in Florida than ever before. How are we affecting water quality and how is that affecting red tides?” said Mike Parsons, a professor of marine science at the school, in an on-air interview with CBS News. As if red tides weren’t concerning enough, now “The Blob” state Scientists are tracking a 5,000-mile-wide patchwork of seaweed clumps in the Atlantic that are moving toward the Caribbean and the coasts of Mexico and Florida. In fact, scientists have been following a similar phenomenon since 2011, but this year’s blob size could be a record. It can. That’s adding and subtracting to its overall size, but overall, it’s expected to be a chart-topper this year. The mass is known as sargassum, a brown seaweed that floats in large quantities, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. .The University of South Florida’s Optical Oceanography Lab, which tracks the volume using NASA satellite imagery, says the latest bloom has doubled each month from November to January.In the open ocean, sargassum stems Desert patches can absorb carbon dioxide and serve as critical habitat for fish, crabs, shrimp, turtles and birds. But it poses a threat to wildlife and humans near the ground. For one thing, as biomass degrades, it releases gases like hydrogen sulfide, which smell like rotten eggs. Mass accumulation can wreak havoc on local ecosystems, smothering coral reefs and altering the pH balance of the water. As for humans, large beach and pier pile-ups can suffocate local economies by closing tourist spots, cutting off marinas, and damaging fishing yields. A researcher at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Dr. The blob is currently pushing west and will move through the Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico during the summer, with seaweed expected to spread along Florida beaches around July, Brian Lapointe said. Branch Oceanographic Institute, speaking to CNN. The organization called the blob “problematic” given its size in a Twitter post.

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