Dead zones — where animals suffocate and die — found in the Atlantic’s open waters due to ocean circulation, and could expand with ocean warming

Source: The Washington Post

Dead soft shell clams on a beach following a dead zone event in Narragansett Bay, R.I. (Andrew Altieri/Smithsonian file)

Not much can survive in a “dead zone.” These aquatic areas have such a low concentrations of oxygen that marine life either dies or leaves.

Many of these lifeless areas crop up near coastlines, where people live and hazardous chemicals make their way into the water. Now, a group of German and Canadian researchers have discovered dead zones in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, which they say is a first. They observed the area for seven years and published their findings Thursday in the journal Biogeosciences.

Researchers found these particular dead zones in tropical North Atlantic waters, hundreds of miles from West Africa. Some of them were spotted north of Cape Verde’s islands.

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