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A mass of algae the size of the entire country is heading towards the United States twice

A mass of algae the size of the entire country is heading towards the United States twice

March 19, 2023 – 11:11 AM

A giant algae colony is headed for the coast of Florida. CNN reports. Golf grass mass has long been a problem on the Atlantic coast, and scientists have been watching its buildup since 2011. Experts say this year’s bloom may be the largest on record, stretching more than 8,000 kilometers across the sea, from the coast of Africa to the Gulf of Mexico.

Dr.. Brian Lapointe, a researcher at Florida Atlantic University’s Institute of Oceanography, was quoted as saying:

This year’s flowering started earlier, the colony doubles in size between December and January.

The colony moves west and reaches the Gulf of Mexico in the summer through the Caribbean Sea. The researcher says algae will likely appear off the coast of Florida around July. “This is a completely new oceanographic phenomenon that could cause a really catastrophic problem for tourism in the Caribbean, because it can accumulate on beaches at a depth of 5-6 metres,” he added.

Golf grass is an umbrella term for more than 300 species of brown algae, although Sargassum natans and Sargassum fluitans are the two most common species found in the Atlantic Ocean. When a colony drifts out to sea, algae can have a positive impact on ocean life. Floating habitats can provide food and protection for fish, mammals, seabirds, crabs and other animals.

However, as it gets closer to the coast, it becomes even more harmful. In the shallow sea, golf grass accumulates, emitting gases that smell like rotten eggs, and “sucks” oxygen from the shallow water in large quantities, giving rise to dead zones. The gas released by the rotting algae – hydrogen sulfide – can be toxic and cause respiratory problems.

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It costs millions of dollars to clean up mounds of algae on beaches, and removing it can harm marine life.

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