The biggest ever dead zone has just been recorded in the Gulf of Mexico.
Scientists say the oxygen-depleted region is about the size of New Jersey, covering 8,776 square miles (22,720 square kilometers). A dead zone is where there is not enough oxygen to support marine life. The cause is human (fertilizer and effluent runoff).
The nutrients, which get carried down from the river, feed plankton blooms that die and sink. Their resulting decay uses oxygen
Studies based on nitrogen and phosphorus in the Mississippi River had predicted one of the largest dead zones ever. Unwanted record: Biggest ever dead zone in Gulf of Mexico