28 May 2021

Climate change + pollution = "sea snot"

As the Guardian and numerous Turkish news outlets have reported, high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the Sea of Marmara, situated between the Black and Aegean Seas, are leading to an explosion of the phytoplankton populations that discharge “sea snot.” Though the mucus itself is not necessarily harmful, it can become a host to toxic microorganisms and dangerous bacteria such as E. coli. And when it forms a layer that covers the water’s surface, it can set off a harmful chain of events, preventing fish from being able to breathe, causing mass die-offs, which in turn leads to plummeting oxygen levels that choke other forms of marine life...

Since phytoplankton thrive in warmer waters, scientists suspect that climate change may be a factor... Experts have also pointed out that untreated waste and agricultural runoff pour directly into the Sea of Marmara...

Ismet Cigit, a columnist for the newspaper Ses Kocaeli, lamented that humans had “betrayed this world’s most beautiful sea” by allowing chemical storage facilities, fuel tanks, factories and other industrial sites to be built along the coast.

In Izmit, workers have laboriously collected more than 110 tons of the mucus, which was sent to an incinerator for disposal.

“Clearly, there are no deterrent penalties for those who pollute the sea,” he wrote in Turkish, adding, “Marmara is dying.”

1 comment:

  1. It's not the companies or farmers who are to blame but the Turkish government. You can not expect individual farmers to change their behavior at their disadvantage.

    Climate change requires collective action that can only be be when regulated by the government and enforced on all. The government must set limits on what one can dump in the environment. If it doesn't, we find time after time that the world is not as endless as we like to think/pretend.


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