CBS: Giant floating bloom of Sargassum seaweed will likely be largest ever recorded
Giant floating bloom of Sargassum seaweed will likely be largest ever recorded
A mass of Sargassum seaweedfloating toward the West Coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico will likely be the largest ever recorded, the University of South Florida said Friday.
The Sargassum bloom is expected to increase in size, with the quantity likely peaking in June or July. Major beaching events are "inevitable" along the east coast of Florida, the ocean side of the Florida Keys and around the Caribbean, researchers at the college said. While the exact timing is difficult to predict, major impacts are expected throughout the next few months.
Beaching on Florida will come down to wind, wave and tidal conditions, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA.)
"Given the complexity of its motion, growth, and decay, it is not possible to forecast the timing of beaching," NOAA said. "However, given the size and number of the current Sargassum patches, there is a strong chance that Sargassum carried by the Florida Current may reach the Florida coast despite wind and wave conditions."
Large accumulations of the seaweed have been a recurrent problem in the Caribbean, in the Gulf of Mexico and in the tropical Atlantic since 2011, according to the NOAA.
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