The Atlantic Ocean is teeming with life, but for the first time researchers have discovered dead zones in these waters — areas low in both oxygen and salinity — off the coast of Africa. Fish can’t survive in the dead zones, and researchers don’t yet fully understand how microorganisms will react.
This lack of a complete picture comes partially because the scientists stumbled upon this finding. Lead researcher Johannes Karstensen, of Germany’s GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, and several other scientists have studied this part of the world’s oceans for about a decade. Every couple of years, they retrieve and check their instrumentation.