New Record-Size Sargassum Threatens To Invade Florida And The Caribbean Soon

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According to researchers on the University of South Florida Optical Oceanography Lab, the bloomelevated so considerably that the abundance reached a brand new document from all earlier December months.

In November, there have been a million metric tons of sargassum within the central Atlantic; by December, that quantity had grown to 5 million tons.

“This indicates that 2024 will be another major Sargassum year,” the researchers said.

Satellite picture from June 2021

Over the previous ten years, there was a noticeable improve in each the dimensions and injury attributable to these blooms. Brian Barnes, a analysis professor on the University of South Florida who focuses on sargassum, stated to Nexstar’s WFLA final yr that “before 2011, we never saw anything like this.”

The excellent news is {that a} comparatively small quantity (120,000 tons) was discovered within the Caribbean Sea and nearly no sargassum was discovered within the Gulf of Mexico. But within the upcoming months, that’s anticipated to alter. Scientists predict that because the seaweed grows extra widespread, currents will carry bits of it westward.

Latest Photos from Beaches in Mexico (Source: FB Group Sargassum Seaweed Updates (Cancun, PDC, Tulum)

The mass of sargassum elevated to 13 million tons final yr. Naturally, not all of that washed up on seashores, however the chunks triggered injury alongside Florida’s coast and offered vital difficulties for the journey and tourism sector throughout spring break and the summer season.

The Florida Department of Health advises beachgoers to not contact or swim close to sargassum in the event that they see it washing up on the shore. Its tiny inhabitants, similar to jellyfish larvae, have the potential to sting or itch your pores and skin.

To stop respiratory issues and ugly odors, the division additionally suggested shutting home windows in case you stay near the seashore and carrying gloves in case you should deal with sargassum.

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