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this doesn't sound good at all

Ocean scientists took their first look Tuesday into the oxygen-starved "dead zone" spreading off the Oregon Coast and were shocked by what they saw: a lifeless wasteland of thousands of dead crabs, starfish and no live fish at all.

"It was a real eye-opener for all of us," said Hal Weeks, a marine ecologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. "I don't think anybody expected this sort of thing."

Dead Dungeness crabs off Cape Perpetua, just south of Yachats, "were like jellybeans in a jar. You just can't count them, there were so many."

...Scientists suspect swings in the Earth's climate tied to global warming may be shifting wind conditions to bring about such grim results.

Seawater turns deadly for marine life when concentrations of the dissolved oxygen they breathe fall below about 1.4 milliliters per liter. On Monday, Chan measured a concentration of .05, or almost 30 times below the lethal level, about 90 feet below the surface.

It is very close to a complete absence of oxygen, a situation rarely known in the world's oceans, said Jane Lubchenco, a professor of marine biology at Oregon State. New bacteria that take over when oxygen disappears are known to release poisonous hydrogen sulfide gas.
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