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New sargassum blob raises concerns in Florida

University of South Florida scientists find record amounts of sargassum in tropical Atlantic Ocean
Sargassum, generic
Posted at 6:50 PM, Jan 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-08 18:55:41-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A new year is bringing new concerns about sargassum.

While it has been a while since the seaweed has flooded local beaches, a recent study by scientists at the University of South Florida found record amounts of sargassum in the tropical Atlantic Ocean for this time of year.

USF oceanography professor Chuanmin Hu said that last month they measured five million metric tons of sargassum, which is even more than what they found just a year ago.

USF oceanography professor Chuanmin Hu discusses a large sargassum blog currently in the Atlantic Ocean.
USF oceanography professor Chuanmin Hu discusses a large sargassum blog currently in the Atlantic Ocean.

The professor said this is not an immediate concern but is something to watch for this summer.

"In the next few months, I wouldn't worry at all about this," Hu said. "It's very remote, and most of the sargassum is in the eastern part of the ocean, not the western part."

Hu added that this should not be an issue that Florida residents should worry about for at least three to four months.