Sargassum in the Atlantic reaches 13 million tons | The USA Print

Sargassum in the Atlantic reaches 13 million tons

The “great belt of sargasso of the Atlantic” that extends from western Africa to the Gulf of Mexico with a width of 5,000 miles (about 8,000 kilometers) can already exceed 13 million tons in weight, setting a record for this time of year, reported the Optical Oceanography Laboratory of the University of South Florida (USF).

According to the most recent bulletin -corresponding to March- from this laboratory, based on its Sargassum Satellite Surveillance System (SAWS), the enormous bloom of masses of marine algae of some 8,000 kilometers “continued the general increasing trend”. , moves across the Atlantic and could head towards the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida.

Such a record amount for March, explains the laboratory, attached to the USF College of Marine Sciences, is mainly due to the sargasso located in the Atlantic this center.

In it Atlantic Central West, details, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, the amount of sargasso it exceeded 75% for the same month between 2011 and 2022, but those years fell short of the historical record.

“As a result, large sargassum stranding events are unavoidable throughout the Caribbean, along the Florida Keys and the east coast of Florida, although exact times and locations are difficult to predict,” the lab noted.

To arrive at coasts Florida, the massive bloom of marine algae could have harmful consequences for coral reefs, by depriving them of the necessary sunlight, in addition to releasing hydrogen sulfide when decomposing that affects the air and water and can cause respiratory problems for people.

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The impacts of this toxic algae bloom have already been felt in the coasts from Florida.

In fact, many young people from all over the United States who came to the beaches of Florida on this spring break, the so-called “spring break”, found themselves in the presence of the toxic red tide, especially in areas of the south of the West Coast.

The state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) warned of the presence of a red tide along the Florida Gulf Coast.

The FWC recently detected “high concentrations” of the microorganism “Karenia brevis” (the cause of red tide) mainly in the southwestern coast of the state, specifically in Pinellas, Sarasota, Charlotte, Monroe and Lee counties, and lower in the of Manatee and Collier.

High concentrations of this organism in the sea are often accompanied by the presence of dead fish.

According to the Miami Herald, while sargassum remains widespread over thousands of square miles of open ocean, the USF report “is a harbinger of stinky, slimy beach days.”

In some places on the Florida east coast, including Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, large masses have already reached the coast or have been seen by sailors on the high seas, the newspaper detailed this Monday.

Researchers at USF’s Optical Oceanography Laboratory warned in early March that “the large amounts of algae already in the Caribbean Sea (and to the east) will continue to accumulate and migrate westward, creating stranding hazards along the way.” .

Although the total amount is large, the average density within the belt is quite low, that is, less than 0.1% of the ocean is covered by sargassospecifies the bulletin.

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The lab clarifies that this year’s sargassum bloom is not a giant “spot,” but “randomly scattered clumps and mats of sargassum within 5,000 miles” of the sargassum belt.

Reliable, reliable and easy. Multimedia news agency in Spanish.

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