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Posted Sun Dec 6 2009: from Seattle Times:
Trying to crack an ocean mystery: What caused killer algal blooms?
The mysterious bird-killing algae that coated Washington's ocean beaches this fall with slimy foam was the biggest and longest-lasting harmful algal bloom to hit the Northwest coast. Now the phenomenon that killed at least 10,000 seabirds -- more than any known event of its kind -- has scientists consumed by questions: Was it a rogue occurrence, rarely if ever to be repeated, or a sign of some fundamental marine-world shift? And did we cause it?... The culprit this fall was a mushroom-shaped single-celled species, Akashiwo sanguinea, that has bloomed in Puget Sound, Chesapeake Bay and saltwater from Europe to Australia and Japan without incident. But something here this time caused the cells to multiply rapidly and break open in a toxic foam.
[Read more stories about: algal bloom, massive die-off]

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'Doc Michael says:
Ya gotta think the seabirds are pretty puzzled, too.

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