Friday, August 11, 2006

Anoxia in the Pacific NW

Scientists say the oxygen-starved "dead zone" along the Pacific Coast that is causing massive crab and fish die-offs is worse than initially thought.

Scientists say weather, not pollution, appears to be the culprit, and no relief is in sight. However, some say there is no immediate sign yet of long-term damage to the crab fishery.

Oregon State University scientists looking for weather changes that could reverse the situation aren't finding them, and they say levels of dissolved oxygen critical to marine life are the lowest since the first dead zone was identified in 2002. It has returned every year.

Strong upwelling winds pushed a low-oxygen pool of deep water toward shore, suffocating marine life, said Jane Lubchenco, a professor of marine biology at OSU.

Y'know, I wonder if Hallam and Wignall have considered that anoxia might be part of the symptoms of what killed everything at the end of the Permian (and others) rather than the driving cause. Yes, Anoxia would kill lots, but it seems, at least in the above case, that its a symptom rather than cause. If anoxic conditions in the Permian Extinction and elsewhere TL wise were a symptom of uber temperatures...

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