The year is over, ladies and gentlemen. And what a year it was. We passed some major environmental milestones (COP21, the Clean Power Plan, the Pope’s climate change encyclical) and waded through plenty of environmental disasters (bomb trains, oil spills and species extinction). As we push onward into 2016, Planet Experts looks back at the stories we reported on and brings you the very best and worst of the year. Without further ado, here are the Seven Worst Things to Happen to the Ocean in 2015.
7) Dead Zones Were Discovered in the Atlantic Ocean.
In February, a study published in the journal Global Change Biology predicted that climate change will cause the number of ocean dead zones to increase. A few months later, marine biologists reported on the first-ever observed dead zones in the Atlantic Ocean. Unlike dead zones formed from toxic algal blooms, the Atlantic zones were the result of large, underwater cyclones that can spin for months. Propagating westward off the West African coast, the cyclones rapidly deplete the oxygen content in their core. Researchers warn that this can flood coasts with low-oxygen water, putting severe stress on coastal ecosystems. Read more →