SO-CALLED "OCEAN DESERTS" OR "DEAD ZONES" ARE OXYGEN-STARVED (OR "HYPOXIC") AREAS OF THE OCEAN. THEY CAN OCCUR NATURALLY, OR BE CAUSED BY AN EXCESS OF NITROGEN FROM AGRICULTURAL FERTILIZERS, SEWAGE EFFLUENT AND/OR EMISSIONS FROM FACTORIES, TRUCKS AND AUTOMOBILES. THE NITROGEN ACTS AS A NUTRIENT THAT, IN TURN, TRIGGERS AN EXPLOSION OF ALGAE OR PLANKTON, WHICH IN TURN DEPLETE THE WATER'S OXYGEN. ACCORDING TO THE OCEAN CONSERVANCY, A DEAD ZONE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO—WHERE THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER DUMPS UNTOLD GALLONS OF POLLUTED WATER EVERY SECOND—HAS EXPANDED TO OVER 18,000 SQUARE KILOMETERS IN THE LAST DECADE. MANY OTHER SUCH DEAD ZONES HAVE ALSO UNDERGONE RAPID EXPANSION IN RECENT YEARS.OCEAN CONSERVANCY A RECENT STUDY BY GERMAN OCEANOGRAPHER LOTHAR STRAMMA AND A TEAM OF PROMINENT INTERNATIONAL RESEARCHERS CONFIRMS THIS PHENOMENON, AND ALSO POINTS THE FINGER AT GLOBAL WARMING. THEIR DATA SHOW THAT OXYGEN LEVELS HUNDREDS OF FEET BELOW THE OCEAN SURFACE HAVE DECLINED OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS AROUND THE WORLD, MOST LIKELY A RESULT OF HUMAN ACTIVITY. AND AS OCEAN WATERS WARM DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE, THEY RETAIN LESS OXYGEN. FURTHERMORE, WARMER UPPER LAYERS OF WATER STIFLE THE PROCESS THAT BRINGS NUTRIENTS UP FROM COLDER, DEEPER PARTS OF THE OCEAN TO FEED A WIDE RANGE OF SURFACE-DWELLING MARINE WILDLIFE.
By the year 2000 – The entire contiguous United States was affected by acid precipitation Figure 54.22 Field pH 5.3 5.2–5.3 5.1–5.2 5.0–5.1 4.9–5.0 4.8–4.9 4.7–4.8 4.6–4.7 4.5–4.6 4.4–4.5 4.3–4.4 4.3
Study: Popular baby bottles may be dangerous Bottles from Dr. Brown's, Evenflo, Gerber, Playtex contain chemicals known to harm lab animals; industry group defends safety. February 27 2007: 8:35 PM EST WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Independent experts convened by the National Institutes of Health will meet next week to review whether exposure to a chemical commonly found in plastic products like food containers and baby bottles causes health problems. Separately, an environmental group said new laboratory tests at the University of Missouri found that the chemical, bisphenol A, leached into liquids at potentially dangerous levels from baby bottles sold by five leading brands. Bisphenol A, also called BPA, is used in making polycarbonate plastic food and drink packaging The NIH said studies have indicated the chemical may mimic a natural female sex hormone, and the upcoming review comes in part due to its widespread human exposure and evidence of reproductive toxicity in animal studies