The complex causes of red tide make toxic blooms a challenge to predict, scientists say
The outbreak of the harmful algal blooms has shown up in medium and high concentrations along the Gulf coast this month.
This week on "Florida Matters," two experts on marine biology and ocean circulation talk about where red tide comes from, how it’s affected by pollution and hurricanes, and how scientists are monitoring it.
Red tide has killed tons of fish along Florida's Gulf coast beaches this year.
When microscopic algae — such as Karenia brevis — multiply into a harmful algal bloom, it can discolor the water, hence the name red tide. Other than killing marine life, red tide can cause eye irritation, coughing and sneezing, and shortness of breath in humans.
Although the algal outbreak has shown up in medium and high concentrations along the coast this year, some beachgoers told Health News Florida during spring break that they weren’t put off and the latest reports suggest the red tide may be decreasing.
Host Matthew Peddie talks with Bob Weisberg, distinguished professor emeritus at the University of South Florida specializing in the physics of ocean circulation, and Thomas Frazer, dean of USF’s college of marine science.
Hear the conversation by clicking on the Listen button above.
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