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China Earth

Toxic Green Algae Takes Over Beaches Off Yellow Sea In China 66

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-that,-ecosystem dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Caused by what researchers say is local industry and agriculture pollution, the green algae (scientific name Enteromorpha prolifera), has resulted in the foul-smelling mass taking over parts of China's Yellow Sea. The event, which has occurred in the same region over the past six years, always during the summer, has grown exponentially since its last notable interference in 2008. This year's growth is reportedly double in size, measuring in at more than 11,158 square miles. According to a report from the Guardian, officials have removed 7,335 tons of the algae recently in an attempt to control the growth after beach-goers in the nearby city of Qingdao have remain unaffected by the disturbance. While strange in appearance, the algae is reportedly nontoxic to humans but can, however, leave behind the toxic gas hydrogen sulphide. According to a report from the Daily Mail, crews are working to remove the algae as the toxicity is caused if it is left to decompose."
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Toxic Green Algae Takes Over Beaches Off Yellow Sea In China

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  • RTFA: Not toxic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by skaralic (676433) on Friday July 05, 2013 @04:16PM (#44198095)

    The algae, called Enteromorpha prolifera, is not toxic to humans or animals.

    However the carpet on the surface can dramatically change the ecology of the environment beneath it. It blocks sunlight from entering the ocean and sucks oxygen from the water suffocating marine life.

  • Funny related story (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RedBear (207369) <redbear.redbearnet@com> on Friday July 05, 2013 @05:36PM (#44199001) Homepage

    So my wife and I rented an RV for a trip through California last fall, and near the end of our trip we stopped and stayed a few days in a little place called Watsonville, at the Pinto Lake RV Park [pintolakepark.com]. It's a small park, very quiet, right by the side of a small freshwater lake. You can go out on the lake in a boat, and you can fish in the lake, but the park manager tells us there's no swimming allowed and you might not want to eat the fish you catch. Why? The entire lake is a deep, dark green color from a completely out of control algae bloom, and the algae is somehow poisonous to people and animals. All the waterfowl living in the lake would walk around the park leaving wads of bird poop all over the lawn, which were dark green instead of white due to all the algae in their diet. But besides the issue with the lake and a lack of shower/laundry facilities, it was a nice place.

    The cause? Apparently, agricultural runoff from all the local farms in the area. In other words, excessive use of fertilizers.

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