The Ocean Can't Breathe: Mexico-Sized Algae Bloom in the Arabian Sea Should Concern You
While this is not the first time a build-up of green slime has appeared in a body of water, there is no reason you should not be alarmed about the algae bloom in the Arabian Sea.
Science Alert noted that Noctiluca scintillans, also known as "sea sparkle," is blooming in the Arabian Sea towards India. The Mexico-sized algae bloom is reportedly caused by the algae bloom in the Gulf of Oman, which occurs twice a year.
Though the bioluminescent color may be attractive to the eyes, experts assert that the displays are a sign of climate change.
Associated Press reported that scientists from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory blame the algae blooms to climate change, specifically melting ice in the Himalayas. The rise in ocean temperature has suffocated the ocean.
The rapid increase in the amount of CO2 emitted in the atmosphere makes the algae more poisonous. They eliminate marine population, including diatoms, which previously lies at the base of the Arabian Sea food chain.
Given that fishing sustains around 120 million people living on the edge of the Arabian Sea, the algal bloom is a massive threat in the local industry. Inhabitat notes that in 2008, an eruption of a different type of algae beached 50 tons of fish, which were starving for oxygen and rotted along the coast of Oman.
For the last decades, these dinoflagellate blooms were practically invisible. However, in the past years, they are becoming more common. The mass algae proliferation causes colossal ecosystem shift that bring about an alternate food chain altogether.
Effects of climate change in different bodies of water have become apparent for the past years. Few months ago, researchers at Griffith University in Australia found out that the brown algae has killed the corals of the Great Barrier Reef at a faster rate, citing that poison from the algae weakens the coral and supports the algae in expanding its territory.