Environment

Watch | How synthetic fertilisers are creating ‘dead zones’

Did you know that water bodies across the planet are slowly turning into ‘dead zones’? The chemically synthesized nitrogen that is used in fertilisers is choking oceans, rivers and lakes, rendering them ‘dead’. Dead zones are regions in water bodies where aquatic life cannot survive.

The growth of dead zones is associated largely with the production of fertilisers. When fertilisers used in farms and agricultural lands drain into water bodies, they catalyse the growth of algae. The algae deplete the water of oxygen before decomposing, suffocating species that live in the area.

Also read | Warming oceans could damage the marine food system:study

This process is termed ‘eutrophication’, and aids the creation of dead zones. Estimates believe that nearly 10% or more of the oceans are now dead zones. This year’s Gulf of Mexico dead zone was the largest ever recorded, covering nearly 16,400 square kilometres.


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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 12:30:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/watch-how-synthetic-fertilisers-are-creating-dead-zones/article36851948.ece

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