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Stony Brook Scientists: Toxic Algal Blooms Linked To Ocean Warming

Jordan Bowman
An algal bloom from Flanders Bay at the Stony Brook lab. Algal blooms zap the water of oxygen and lead to fish kills. Some also release toxins that are harmful to people and pets.

Stony Brook University scientists have found links between increased toxic algae blooms in the North Atlantic and global warming.

The team of scientists was led by Dr. Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. He says humans who eat shellfish contaminated by the toxic blooms can become sick and die.

“That’s the big thing, this is a human health concern, and so if the blooms are getting more intense or occurring in new places, then you suddenly have a new or expanding human health threat.”

Gobler says increased toxic algae thrive in warm water. The algae then contaminates shellfish. Gobler says the toxins have increased in the waters off Long Island, including Long Island Sound.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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