Tens of thousands of dead fish turned up on the Texas coast for the weekendcovering the beach with specimens in a state of decomposition, before which the authorities asked visitors to keep their distance.
He Gulf of Mexico swell tossed fish ‘by the thousands’ Friday in Brazoria County, which is more than 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Houston, Quintana Beach County officials said.
Los low oxygen levels dissolved in the water made it difficult for the fish to breathe, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials said. The phenomenon is common during the summer, when temperatures rise, the agency said.
Although no one has linked this specific incident to the climate changeresearchers have said such events could become more frequent as temperatures rise and oxygen levels drop in lakes in the United States and Europe.
Dissolved oxygen levels in water are increased by photosynthesis, the process through which plants transform sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into oxygen. When there is less sunlight, photosynthesis slows down and stops at night. But plants and animals in the water continue to consume oxygen at the same rate, reducing its concentration, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials said.