Fun in the sun (and slime)
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."

Post by:
Filed under: China
soundoff (427 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    Well, this is what happens when you have no concern for the environment in your pursuit of global economic domination. They'll do what they've always done, deny any problem exists.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. brian

    It's pretty obvious what is causing the green algea. It is the same thing that causes it in other parts of the world, agricultural run-off. Either fertilizer or animal/human waste ads too much nutrient to the water and the algea takes advantage of it. Unfortunately, the algae smothers the fish, so expect massive fish kills next. Or the fish will just leave the area and expect empty fishing nets. I guess you could use the biomass for fermentation or direct burning for fuel.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. messup

    Wasn't going to say anything, because others have already touched on the causes.

    Just will say, go to any pond, still water, closed water system in any city in china and I'm sure this phenom will be present in larger or lesser extent. Sewage treatment on an organized scale is second to waste management...both are non-existent. China's cities and municipalities are dealing with an insurmountable garbage collection, removal problem on a scale not seen in western nations.

    Couple this with erratic bureaucracies, spot off decision-making, graft and corruption throughout the system and a country facing massive capital outlays with feckless economic results will only have itself to blame in the not too distant future. Still want to invest in China? Study their balance sheets, first...then, Good Luck!

    July 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ghost Rider

    This is probably the result of a localized anoxic event. This is what happens when the oxygen content of the water is depleted primarily due to warming of the ocean at the vicinity and lack of localized ocean current. On a wider scale, this would be the catalyst of an extinction event.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ice breaker

    I guess going green means something completely different in China.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mary

    So it looks like they are enjoying it...~!
    Strange to just go swimming in it and be Ok with it.. ~!

    July 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. NoWhiner

    They can make green tea out of them.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. aandrew

    Weren't we saying ' GO GREEN'!!!....Here is it.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chris

    It's called poor agricultural management. Overuse of fertilizers on land enters the water system, allowing plants such as algae to grow far past the normal carrying capacity. The oxygen will be used up when the large algae blooms die and bacteria in the deeper water decomposes it. (Called eutrophication) I'm a little disappointed in the article's lack of scientific explanation. (Plants don't use oxygen, so how would they 'suck the oxygen from the water'?

    July 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nonPCrealist

    Move along citizen, this is completely normal, nothing to see here..

    July 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. hippypoet

    i wonder if you can walk on algae if its thick enough? dude the swamp thing came all over the yellow sea, thats a whole lots puns in there!

    July 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ed Sr

    This is part of the global warming problem just as our unheard of temps this summer allover the USA...............there will be more and more of this.............we were warned by Al Gore that global warming is going to destroy our natural resources if we do not concentrate on a solution to the global warming problem.........nobody seems to listen to him except the Pulitzer Prize committee........................he has studied this problem for many years and it is dear to him as it is to us................we simply do not listen to his wisdom...............we make comments on these article sites but that does NOTHING to promote solutions for ANY of our current and long range problems.......they are simply personal opinions that hold no water except for our own edification and self glorification. In other words.......our WORDS are not helpful. We should LISTEN more and speak less.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thefiler

      Agreed. But seriously Manbearpig is also a threat.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Much of the "science" Al Gore uses had been debunked. No body listens to him because he's just a bunch of hot air (which does more to create Global Warming than any of the crap "science" he spouts).

      July 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Thefiler

    Of course this happens in the Yellow Sea. What's next Godzilla.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • LatetoTheGame

      Wrong Asian country...

      July 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    I wonder if pollution has anything to do with it?

    July 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Greengiant

    This is where green tea comes from China. Ooops, the secret is out.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16