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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Summertime in SyntheticWorld: How Green Are My Beaches?


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Chinese Beach Turns Green (8 pics)

People swim at the No 1 Bathing Beach in the East China coastal city of Qingdao where the water was filled with enteromorpha prolifera, a sea plant that reproduces rapidly, putting the swimmers at risk, July 15, 2011. Several of the beaches in the city have been attacked by the green stuff for the past week and the clearing work is under way: photo by Zhou Kun/China Daily

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Chinese tourists play by the algae-filled coastline of Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province, 17 July 2011. Green algae continues to spread in waters off China's east coastline: photo by AFP



A boy plays at a bathing beach filled with green algae in East China coastal city Qingdao, 16 July 2011
: photo by Xinhua




People swim at a bathing beach filled with green algae in East China coastal city Qingdao, 16 July 2011
: photo by Xinhua




A girl swims at a bathing beach filled with green algae in East China coastal city Qingdao, 16 July 2011
: photo by Xinhua

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A Chinese man swims along the algae-filled coastline of Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province, 17 July 2011. Green algae continues to spread in waters off China's east coastline
: photo by AFP

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Chinese children swim along the algae-filled coastline of Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province, 17 July 2011. Green algae continues to spread in waters off China's east coastline
: photo by AFP

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A Chinese man swims with his son along the algae-filled coastline of Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province, 17 July 2011. Green algae continues to spread in waters off China's east coastline
: photo by AFP

Chinese Beach Turns Green (8 pics)

A boy swims along the algae-filled coastline of Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province, 17 July 2011. Green algae continues to spread in waters off China's east coastline
: photo by AFP

Chinese Beach Turns Green (8 pics)

Beach on the algae-filled coastline of Qingdao, in eastern China's Shandong province, 17 July 2011.
Green algae continues to spread in waters off China's east coastline: photo by AFP

4 comments:

curtisroberts said...

Something new to trouble my sleep and color my already brightly colored memories of China. I've read around superficially on this, but couldn't find anything explaining why this "bloom" occurs. Do you know?

TC said...

Curtis,

As to the cause, there is not much question.

"China is the largest polluter of the Pacific Ocean. Offshore dead zones — oxygen-starved areas in the sea that are virtually devoid of life — are not only found in shallow water but also in deep water. They are mainly created by agricultural run-off — namely fertilizer — and reach their peak in the summer. In the spring freshwater creates a barrier layer, cutting off the salt water below from the oxygen in the air. Warm water and fertilizers cause algae blooms. Dead algae sinks to the bottom and is decomposed by bacteria, depleting oxygen in deep water."

In the Great Olympic Year, the army was called out for the Great Counterattack Against the Algae. It took ten thousand men to put a clean face on the Sea of Green.

This season's algal blooms on the Chinese East Coast are reportedly breaking previous records for depth, expanse and sheer rotten-egg stinkiness.

What is alleged to be real life grows each day to resemble more and more some censored chapter from Revelations.

A great Fifties drive-in movie: The Attack of the Giant Algae.

I am reminded by visitors to China that technological progress has created a better life for two to three hundred millions of Chinese.

As for the other hundreds of millions, and those who live beyond, in the plumes and swaths of the rampant industrial and agricultural pollution, and life in the oceans... that's all another matter.

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Wasn't it W.H. Hudson who wrote "Green Oceans"? Richard Llewelyn who wrote "How Green was my Ocean"? and do we forget Lucy Maud Montgomery who wrote Anne of Green Oceans"?

7.20

light coming into sky above still black
ridge, waning white moon above branches
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

different, compared to that
motion of material in

measuring, events happening,
at the same time that

whiteness of egret standing in channel,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

curtisroberts said...

Interesting to learn what visitors to China tell you. We ourselves were talking about this the other day. We spent 3 weeks in China in 1998 and have no desire to return, in large part because of the polluting culture and polluted conditions you describe. It was the most important trip our our lives (we were adopting Jane) and we were shown great kindness everywhere, but still the harshness and unpleasantness of the conditions and the feeling that it was a situation far too big for anyone to handle was overwhelming. Because of our attitude, we are somewhat unpopular with our China adoption group, families we still get together with for a reunion every year. They are all enormous China boosters for the reason you describe in the last paragraph of your comment and seem to think our concerns are improper and "unpatriotic." Whether or not we ever return affects and changes nothing, however, and I'm always unhappy when I find that their criticism of us has reached Jane through her interaction with the other kids, who are quite a bit more diffident than the parents in their attitudes and views.