Pacific Ocean ‘dead zone’ in Northwest may be irreversibleBy Kim Murphy
October 9, 2009 , Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Corvallis, Ore. – An oxygen-depleted "dead zone" the size of New Jersey is starving sea life off the coast of Oregon and Washington and will probably appear there each summer as a result of climate change, an Oregon State University researcher said Thursday.
The huge area is one of 400 dead zones around the world, most of them caused by fertilizer and sewage dumped into the oceans in river runoff.
But the dead zone off the Northwest is one of the few in the world — and possibly the only one in North America — that could be impossible to reverse. That is because evolving wind conditions likely brought on by a changing climate, rather than pollution, are responsible, said Jack Barth, professor of physical oceanography at OSU.
"I really think we’re in a new pattern, a new rhythm, offshore now. And I would expect