Seaweed Blob Disappears as Unpredictably as It First Appeared

(p. 19) For months, Florida’s usually picturesque coast was plagued by a rotting tangle of seaweed, known as sargassum. Then, as quickly as the stinking mass arrived, it began to disappear.

. . .

Last month, the amount of sargassum in the Gulf of Mexico dropped by a staggering 75 percent, Dr. Hu and colleagues at the University of South Florida Optical Oceanography Lab noted in a bulletin published [June 30, 2023].

. . .

But scientists don’t know why the decline was so rapid. One theory is that strong winds caused by recent tropical storms could have dissipated the sargassum into smaller clumps, or sunk it to the ocean floor, Dr. Hu said, making it hard to see from a satellite. “There could be other reasons, we just don’t know,” he added.

For the full story, see:

Livia Albeck-Ripka. “The Blob That Threatened Florida . . . Is Disappearing.” The New York Times, First Section (Sunday, July 9, 2023): 19.

(note: ellipses in story added; ellipsis in title in original.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date July 7, 2023, and has the title “Good News, Florida. The Giant Seaweed Blob Has Shrunk.” The bracketed date was in the print, but not the online, version.)

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