Monday, March 7, 2011

Red Tides

Red Tides, or its scientific name Karenis Brevis, or its most commonly used name, Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs), is when colonies of algae get over-populated in coastal areas in the US and Mexico. They are caused by farm runoff and human activity (food pollution). One of the biggest Red Tides was 2,000 square miles in Florida, which is the size of Delaware. These colonies can last for days to months and can kill or infect fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds. Red Tides may cause illness to humans but no one has been killed by it.

Did you know that it is possible to predict and track HABs? The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has satellites that scan the water for color, and buoys on the surface of the water and sensors on the ocean floor that sense color and current. After an oceanographer analyzes this data, they know where the Red Tide is going to next. This system is called the Integrated Ocean Observing System. If you would like to see a video of how NOAA tracks Red Tides, click here.

You may be wondering if the Red Tide could have been the first plague, blood, which God sent against Pharoah when he wouldn’t let the Jewish people leave Egypt.image I was wondering the same thing, so I did some research and found out that it couldn’t be because the Red Tide doesn’t happen in the Nile River because Red Tides only occur in oceans. I thought about this and found a solution: If you look at a map, the Nile River starts in Sudan and then flows into Egypt. That could mean that maybe the Red Sea water levels were higher and the mountains were lower. At the same time, there was a Red Tide, which flowed over the mountains, and into the Nile it went.

Red tides are extraordinary but they can also be dangerous. When we were anchored in Tamarindo Bay in Tenacatita, we saw a real Red Tide. My parents learned that it was okay to swim in it because it wasn’t that bad. It was so interesting so my parents told me to research it.

-Harrison, currently in California for a visit


  1. Great job and some interesting observations.

  2. cool I learn all sorts of stuff on these plogs.

  3. Very intersting Harrison. You started telling me about red tides when we spoke on the phone/skype - your blog really clarified it for me, as well as the link you posted. I really like your theory on the plaque (blood) in Egypt. I'd like to hear your analysis on the parting of the sea. What's your theory on that? - I'm open to suggestions...
    Keep up your studying - I'm learnong so much!

  4. We are having a red tide in Redondo Beach, and it appears to have resulted in a massive die off of fish in our marina last night.