New York (AP) – According to a report by the United Nations (UN), the number of so-called death zones in the world’s oceans has increased significantly. These are very oxygen-poor areas in the sea, in which life is hardly possible.
According to the United Nations’ Second World Ocean Assessment on the State of the Seas, between 2008 and 2019 the number of these areas increased from 400 to nearly 700, which was presented in New York. In addition to the Gulf of Mexico and the South China Sea, the Baltic and North Sea are particularly affected.
The phenomenon occurs naturally in some marine areas. There is a reason algul blooms. After dying, the algae slowly sink to the bottom and are broken down by bacteria that consume oxygen. In this way, vast areas can form at depths, with many times containing hardly any oxygen in the water. The entry of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus into the oceans makes such algal blooms.
The report noted that the U.N. sees a tendency to worsen the situation: “It is anticipated that man-made nitrogen input on the coasts will double in the first part of the 21st century.” In addition, rising water temperatures due to climate change will also have a negative impact.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the report’s findings “alarming”: “The stress from many human activities stresses the oceans, destroying critical habitats – such as destroying mangrove forests and coral reefs – and coping with their effects.” Capacity constraint. Climate change, “he said. Guterres emphasized the role of CO2 emissions, which destroy biodiversity in the oceans and threaten coastal areas due to rising water levels.
Meanwhile, the United Nations sees a positive development in the number of incidents involving ships. Accidents on the world’s oceans have decreased significantly in recent years. From 2014 to 2018, an average of 88 ships were “lost” each year, compared to an average of 120 in the last five years. There has also been progress in reducing air pollution from ship emissions. In addition, incidents with oil spills are still rare.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210421-99-298381 / 3