It started in October 2017. A swarm of microscopic algae called Karenia brevis amassed in the waters off Florida’s southwest coast, turning the ocean a rust-red hue. The algae, which are toxic to most marine life as well as humans, transformed Florida’s sea into a watery graveyard as the bodies of fish, manatees, dolphins and turtles washed ashore. The K. brevis didn’t recede until the winter of 2018 and 2019, prompting experts to deem the event, known as a “red tide,” as Florida’s worst in more than a decade. This red tide was one of thousands of harmful algal blooms (HABs) that occurred in the world’s oceans in the past 35 years. HABs tend to be an issue of concern because of the way they kill off marine life, contaminate seafood, and wreak havoc on local economies. While some HABs are known to occur naturally, others are thought to be triggered by an overabundance of nutrients spilling into the ocean from farms and residential land. Some experts also say that climate change is, and will continue, to make algal blooms even worse. But according to the authors of a new study published in Nature Communications Earth and Environment, there are no global trends that would suggest that climate change is having a uniform impact on HABs throughout the world. “If we could have said that there is a clear global trend and it’s increasing everywhere, that would have been a real easy one to communicate,” study co-author Henrik Enevoldsen of…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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