Building a Green Economy Before the Oceans Turn Green(er)

Blasiak, Robert, (2013). Building a Green Economy Before the Oceans Turn Green(er)., n/a-n/a

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    Author Blasiak, Robert
    Title Building a Green Economy Before the Oceans Turn Green(er)
    Appearing in
    Publication Date 2013-08-09
    Place of Publication Tokyo
    Publisher United Nations University
    Start page n/a
    End page n/a
    Language eng
    Abstract Startling videos began to emerge in early July 2013 of an ocean that had quite literally turned bright green. Green waves, heavy and thick with slimy strands of algae, were breaking against a coastline extending off for miles into the distance. Even the beach was carpeted with it, and China’s coastal city of Qingdao was using bulldozers to remove over 7,000 tons of the stuff. Algal blooms have become an annual occurrence off the coast of Qingdao over the past six years, but this year’s 28,900+ square kilometer (11,158 square mile) expanse was roughly the size of Belgium, and more than twice as large as the previous record set in 2008. Such large-scale algal blooms have been linked to massive input of chemical nutrients, often from sewage and agricultural runoff. Explosions of algal growth rapidly alter oxygen levels in the water, causing entire ecosystems to collapse as fish suffocate and stationary organisms like oysters succumb. The resulting dead zones have formed around river deltas and along coastlines in locations around the world. The resilience of ecosystems and the strength of local communities to make positive change are causes for optimism. For even in cases where national or global policy discussions collapse into gridlock, dynamic action can build from the bottom up and eventually feed into these discussions with success stories and lessons learned at the local level. Indeed, the resilience of ecosystems to recover from seemingly catastrophic collapse is impressive. Returning again to the algal blooms and dead zones, overuse of fertilizers had once created a dead zone in the Black Sea. Due in part to a massive drop in fertilizer use caused by the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and concerted international efforts, within a decade the dead zone had largely disappeared. Once an area void of all non-bacterial life, fishing stocks have now rebounded and constitute a major sector of the economy for the area.
    Copyright Holder The Author
    Copyright Year 2013
    Copyright type Creative commons
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    Created: Fri, 17 Feb 2017, 16:58:41 JST by Dunbar, William on behalf of UNU IAS