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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Blue is the Color of Pollution

Blue is the Color of Pollution

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, January 26, 2015/Categories: photography, sustainability, environment

Sea Sparkles, Noctiluca scintillans   (credit: Wiki-commons)

When is the color blue a symptom of pollution? When algae glow in Hong Kong harbor.

The bio-luminescent micro-algae known as Sea Sparkles ( Noctiluca scintillans ) produced a massive bloom in the harbor recently. It was caused when a  red tide  formed from high water pollution levels and slow currents.
Hong Kong sits on the  Pearl River Delta  and agricultural run-off from Chinese farms upstream has allowed excessive nitrogen, phosphorous, and untreated farm wastes to pollute the river. Such nutrients are food for all things green, including algae. In small amounts, plant production increases but plants are inefficient feeders.In excess amounts, the unabsorbed fertilizer runs off the farms and encourages massive growth of aquatic species in any waterway. Algal blooms and dead zones in the ocean result in oxygen depletion and toxic waters.

                     Guangdong Province, Pearl River Delta, and Hong Kong (credit: Wiki-commons)

One Hong Kong researcher commented that "Hong Kong and the entire Pearl River Delta has a big problem with wastewater pollution."  A short video report illustrates the latest polluted situation in Kong Kong:

I'm not sure I would like to take a midnight dip in the harbor anytime soon.


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