A number of news outlets have picked up the story about the enigma of the ‘dead zone’ off the coast of Oregon. The dead zone is a large area of extremely low oxygen levels in the water which are causing sea life necrosis. OSU researchers including Jane Lubchenco, professor of marine ecology at Oregon State and a member of the Pew Oceans Commission, are closely monitoring the situation but haven’t come to a conclusion as to the exact cause.
“We’re not really sure what is down the road. If it’s just for a short period of time, it will not be as devastating as if it starts lasting a significant fraction of summer,” -Jane Lubchenco
From the NY Times article:
In 2002 when the dead zone first appeared, Dr. Lubchenco said, she and other researchers dismissed it as an interesting anomaly. â€œBut now, five years in a row, we are beginning to think there has been some sort of fundamental change in ocean conditions off the West Coast,â€? she said, possibly because of changes in the jet stream caused by global warming.