Latest News about Air Pollution and Its Effects

Seaweed assaults South Florida beaches
Wednesday June 20th 2018, 12:40 pm

A fascinating story about what happens when the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles in far-flung locales go awry.


This piece from Florida’s Sun Sentinel naturally focuses on the mess these mats of seaweed are making at local beaches: Rotting piles of vegetation two feet thick, with sea lice and crabs and Yuck! You have to read deep into the article to find hint of the cause:

“The massive increases in seaweed appear to be related to the greater availability of the plant nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus.”

In the very next sentence, reporter David Fleshler waffles in a classic bit of journalistic equivocation:

“But why their concentrations have increased remains a mystery.

Do we really not know? We’ve got an incredible dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico thanks to run-off from Midwest farms, pollution in the Amazon, over-nitrification from fish farms. Could it be that the interplay of these forces is finally coming to bear in the beaches of South Florida?

This is where good journalism could be a great service. We need to more clearly see the connections between various choices we make and a less-than-pleasant day at the beach.

[News Source]