Massive algae bloom on China coastline
July 25th, 2011
10:44 AM ET

Thick, green algae covers 200 square miles of Yellow Sea

Almost 200 square miles (500 square kilometers) of the Yellow Sea off China are covered by a massive bloom of green algae, according to a report from China's Xinhua news service.

The bloom has spread to almost 7,400 square miles (19,050 square kilometers) in total and is expected to grow, Xinhua reported, citing the North China Sea Marine Forecasting Center of State Oceanic Administration.

The algae bloom threatens marine life as it sucks oxygen from the water although the algae itself is not poisonous, according to the Xinhua report.

Researchers don't know what causes the massive algae blooms, first seen in the Yellow Sea in 2007.

Tons of the green algae had to be removed in 2008 to make way for sailing events at the Summer Olympics.

"We don't know where it originated and why it's suddenly growing so rapidly," Bao Xianwen from the Qingdao-based Ocean University of China, told the China Daily earlier this month. "It must have something to do with the change in the environment, but we are not scientifically sure of the reasons."

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Filed under: China
soundoff (427 Responses)
  1. Brett

    Remember when everyone was claiming that global warming was causing the disappearance of massive algae fields which would eventually harm the Earth's ecosystem? Now it's a bad thing all of a sudden?

    July 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • John McClane

      I think you're a bit confused.

      It was the coral reefs that they were worried about, and the algae chokes off the supply of oxygen to the corral reefs.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      A right winger who doesn't know what he's talking about? Say it ain't so!

      July 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • BeInformed

      Another clueless idiot paid to debunk climate change.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • waves

      Brett, please stop listeing to your conservative pundits and actually read some scientific articles.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • rrock

      Another right wing moron getting his information from Rush Limbaugh.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex ormeno

      wow...amazing all your knowledge...where did you get it from Palin or Rush Limbaugh. In South America people have coined a termed that I think can apply to the brothers in the North useful i-d-i-o-t-s, I think you are a vivid example

      July 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • tedwilliams

      Brett – where did you hear that scientists were worried about a lack of algae?

      July 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Palin – Limbaugh 2012

      July 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Ummmm . . . actually, if you google "global warming killing algae," you will find that it is believed that global warming is killing ocean algae and that increased amounts of algae might help get rid of excess CO2.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dave

    Thats what happens when you dump tons of raw sewage and pollutants into the sea. As if China didn't know that already. If the Chinese could criticize their government and corporations like the US does then this wouldn't happen.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ed

      a heck of a lot of good that's done coming out from a country responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone; but then U.S. media loves to dump on China while turning a blind eye to its own worse problems, including human rights abuses such as the Patriot Act, and racists love to jump on the bash China/ Chinese people bandwagon

      July 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alex

    I would not swim in that. It would feel so weird. I've had my fair share of seaweed and algae too from lake ontario.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. G.W. Bush

    Well, you hippies said "we need to go green". Green enough for ya'? Green poop...hee hee love that! Pooppooppoop!

    July 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. POD

    Where does it come from?.....Seriously?.......it comes from the runoff of chemical fertilizer from farms into the sea.....this has been known in the United States for decades.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Baked Bean

      Bingo!

      July 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. journalist

    What a silly article. The publish date is July 25th, 2011 @ 10:44 AM ET. Less than four hours later a message of "THIS GALLERY HAS EXPIRED" is displayed. Guess I'll go to some other news source to see if their news remains published for more than four hours.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Fiona

    Don't know why it's growing? Excess nitrogen. Where does excess nitrogen come from? Sewage, fertilizer runoff, factory waste. Clean up your act, China.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ed

      how about you clean up your own garbage first. the Gulf of Mexico dead zone was created by American farmers, but then again, maybe that's okay because it was created by white people like yourself 😉

      July 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. rrock

    Two things cause this: fertilizer from run off and sewage and warm water.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dom

      That would seem to be the case. Fertilizer and other chemicals can spike the nitrogen levels to unreal levels causing this mass of algae. It was seen years ago in the gulf of Mexico, and originated hundreds of miles inland to farms.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    Um, gee, fertilizer comes to mind.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. G.W. Bush

    Here is the facts treehuggers: I paved the way for Iraqi oil to be used by the Maoists to bring lead filled toys over for future GOP voters to chew on. Pooooooooooooooooooooooop! Hee hee.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Answer man

    Um is there not about 4 dozen global corporations working on super fast growing Algae for use in renewable fuel?

    July 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. shishta

    With such an immense algae bloom and many companies able to turn algae into fuel why is China just leaving it there, put a factory at the edge of the sea and mass produce biofuel to sell.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Johnny 5

    It makes a great soup.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Answer man

    I'm just thinking it would not take that bad of an accident to have genetically modified specimen in the wild growing uncontrolled..

    July 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Forrest G

    When my fish tank used to get all green, we used to just buy some catfish or algae eaters from the pet store

    July 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • dan

      You would need to have a lot of concern about what other impact those algae eaters would have on the marine environment.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
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