25 May 2007

Wind shifts devastate ocean life

By Jonathan Fildes, Science and technology reporter, BBC News, San Francisco

The delicate interplay between the oceans and atmosphere is changing with catastrophic consequences.

That is the conclusion of researchers investigating 'dead zones' off the coast of the US, where populations of marine life were suddenly wiped out.

These vast graveyards occur where there are disturbances to currents driven by coastal winds, they say.

Dead zones have been recorded off the coast of California and Oregon every year for the last five years.

The most intense event, which left the ocean floor littered with the carcasses of crabs, happened in 2006.

'It was unlike anything that we've measured along the Oregon coast in the past five decades,' said Dr Francis Chan of Oregon State University (OSU).

Dead zones have also been seen in the waters off Chile, Namibia and South Africa."

Read more at BBC News...