Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Hurricanes affect dead zone in Gulf of Mexico

Hurricanes affect dead zone

Did this year's hurricane season affect the oxygen-depleted "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico?

"Most certainly," says Steve DiMarco, a Texas A&M University oceanography professor who for 16 years has studied the Gulf of Mexico, which has a "dead zone" where oxygen-depleted water can kill marine life.

In early July, most of the Texas-Louisiana shelf from Freeport, Texas, to the Mississippi River Delta was hypoxic — meaning the saltwater has lost large amounts of oxygen. Later in July, Hurricane Dolly disrupted the dead zone and re-oxygenated the shallow waters south of Louisiana and the entire shelf off Texas. Oxygen levels started to drop again within days after the storm.

In early August, Hurricane Eduard re-oxygenated the entire Louisiana shelf, but by mid-August the oxygen concentrations dropped to hypoxic levels.

Again, winds from Hurricane Gustav re-oxygenated the dead zone Sept. 1, and oxygen levels began receding after that storm.

And guess what? Hurricane Ike re-oxygenated the shelf when it made landfall Sept. 12 in Texas.

The latest data showed oxygen concentrations nearly all at normal levels, DiMarco said.

"The system should stay oxygenated until next spring, when winter runoff increases, and summer heating makes conditions more favorable for hypoxia (and dead zone formation) to exist," he said.

Show's new season to air in '09

What happened to the new season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent? Are they holding it back, and why?

The eighth season of the series, which introduces Jeff Goldblum as the successor to the departed Chris Noth, will begin sometime in early 2009 on USA Network. According to entertainment site Zap2it.com, USA simply said that the delay will allow the season's 16 episodes to air without interruptions — as opposed to the piecemeal airings that some shows get.

Demand drives diesel prices

Why is diesel fuel priced higher than regular gasoline, or premium gasoline? Diesel fuel is a byproduct of the process of making gasoline and was so plentiful that the refineries even had to "discard" (burn) diesel waste.

Diesel prices have soared past gasoline prices because, globally, diesel is in much greater demand than gas. More European cars, for instance, run on diesel than gasoline. And the whole world, including the United States, uses diesel to run the trucks, trains and ships that transport food, consumer goods and industrial materials and products. Demand for gas and oil is slipping domestically as the economy cools, but economies in the rest of the world — particularly China and India — continue to grow, pushing oil and diesel prices generally higher.

Q&A: Hurricanes affect dead zone in Gulf of Mexico 12/30/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 8:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay small businesses give Tampa B+ for regulatory climate

    Corporate

    In a recent survey about small business sentiments toward state and local government policies that affect them, Tampa Bay ranked at No. 25 out of 80 — a B+ overall.

    Tampa Bay ranked No. 25 out of 80 in a recent survey about how small business owners feel about state and local government policies that affect them. | [Times file photo]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers

    Crime

    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  5. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)

    War

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.