The fifth volume in the Harte Research Institute’s landmark scientific series on the Gulf of Mexico provides the first comprehensive study that covers the major core subjects of chemical oceanography in the Gulf. It synthesizes a tremendous amount of established research, together with the most recent information emerging from studies conducted during and after the Macondo Well oil spill that resulted from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform. Situated within the boundaries of a changing semi-tropical region, the Gulf of Mexico is a particularly important body to its bordering countries—the United States, Mexico, and Cuba—and directly influences the economies of these nations through shipping, oil and gas extraction, mineral mining, fisheries, and myriad ecosystem services and recreational opportunities.
The changing chemistry of the Gulf also has wide-ranging effects on weather patterns as many of the hurricanes that reach land in the US and Mexico pass through this ocean basin. We are already seeing some of the consequences of climate change, including, to name one example, the increased frequency of harmful algal blooms, the cause of which is still unknown in most cases. This book brings together a team of expert chemical oceanographers from the US and Mexico to provide a foundational understanding of the complex chemistry of North America’s only marginal sea. Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota: Volume 5, Chemical Oceanography serves as an important reference for understanding the basic science, management, and economic issues facing the Gulf of Mexico while pointing out key topics in critical need of additional research.