A huge pile of brown seaweed is heading dangerously toward the US coast. It could affect the Caribbean and Florida. When decomposed, these algae release a very dangerous toxic gas.
A new environmental disaster threatens America’s shores. 8,000 km wide, twice the size of the United States, jutting dangerously close from the Atlantic Ocean. As CNN explains.
These are sargassum, micro brown algae, equipped with air balls that act as their buoyancy. So they stay on the surface and serve as shelter and food source for marine animals. But when they wash up on beaches, the trouble begins.
They occupy hundreds of kilograms of beach and begin to disintegrate. A natural process that releases toxic gases like hydrogen sulfide, smells like rotting eggs and can cause headaches and vomiting.
Sargassum has evolved over the years
A recent problem with sarcasm. This is due to fertilizers discharged into rivers (mainly the Amazon) and then reaching the sea. Additionally, rising temperatures and sea level rise are exacerbating this phenomenon.
According to reports, sargassum also washes up on Guadeloupe beaches. Xavier Lefort, the prefect of the region, recalled that a project called “Sargasses II” aimed at combating the proliferation of these algae over four years had been allocated a budget of 36 million euros.
The project involves harvesting the seaweed before it melts on the beaches. This way, they can be assessed and the beaches are protected from tractors carrying them.
Xavier Lefort also explained that “we will try to move very quickly in setting up the modified dams”. In fact, according to the Regional Monitoring Bulletin, the amount of sarcasm found in the Atlantic has increased by 204% since last year.
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