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."

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

    nature's answer to climate change or nature's allergic reaction to some human folly? not sure... but the eyes revel at the 7,700 + square mile expanse of this stuff... as does the mind reel at the thought of raking clean the shorelines of it... if not into the bio-fuel hopper, it could be compacted, shipped to Arizona to dry (... kidding) then used to power generating plants as is... useful solutions sometimes arise from nature's challenges... we once thought of bread mold as just nasty...

    July 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. vince

    Has to be fertilizer. Especially in salt water to be able to grow that fast that quick. I feel sorry for all the marine life. It will create a huge dead zone.

    July 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Debbie

    According to various sites algae can be made into oil. If the process isn't yet ready for real life, it's about time some company got it operating!

    July 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dreamer96

      I was just going to say the same thing.
      Yes you can make oil out of algae, and gas and diesel fuel too. Someone over there should setup a processing plant. We should setup one in the midwest along the missouri river with all the flooding algae is grow there too. At the least start collecting it.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Debra

    Twelve years ago I was in China and the sewage stench coming from the harbor in Shaghai was just gross – that city of 15 million people had no sewage treatment plant and was dumping raw sewage into the ocean. I understand that some headway has been made since then, but the issue is still an environmental nightmare in many Chinese cities. One way they deal with it is to use human waste as fertilizer for agricultural fields. We were in southern China 9 years ago and the harbor in Guangzhou was just as bad. So many humans and so little infrastructure.

    July 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KRBoggs

    why doesn't Originoil harvest the algae for their green energy project

    August 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jerry


    August 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kaitlyn shephard

    Blanket weed or massive bloom of green algae though it's not poisonous it will still have a big impact to affected area, it also depletes oxygen that can be harmful for marine life.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. Phycotech

    Blue Green algae is useful as well as harmful for human beings. It grown at those places where vegitation can't exist. It is a very good protein resource.

    October 12, 2011 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
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    September 22, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
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