The waters of the Sardinian Sea are notoriously saline, with the surface reaching depths of nearly a meter and a half.
But there are many things that make the waters of this vast expanse even more toxic.
The salty waters of Sardinia are responsible for a number of harmful algae blooms that affect ecosystems, marine life, the environment, and human health.
Salty waters have also been linked to outbreaks of human diseases including the flu, coronavirus, and other illnesses.
In 2016, for instance, a report by the Sardinians National Scientific and Technical Council concluded that salt-related deaths in Sardinia were twice as high as in Italy.
And this year, an international team of researchers has documented the presence of the parasite salmonella in the waters off Sardinia, suggesting that the region may be experiencing a new salinity problem.
“There’s no other place like Sardinia.
There’s no place on Earth where it’s so salty,” says Daniel Moya, a researcher at the Università degli Studi di Sardinia (UDS) and the Sardine Institute for Oceanography (SIN).
“Salinity has always been an important factor, but the number of bacteria is so high that it’s almost as high in the whole region.”
Salinity can cause a variety of problems, but it’s also an environmental problem.
The Sardinian water system is located in the southernmost tip of Italy, which is where it receives most of its water.
The water that runs through this system has high levels of nitrate, or nitrite, which can contribute to algae blooming.
As a result, algae bloaters are also known to cause fish deaths.
Nitrate and nitrite in Sardinian waters are also linked to more than 20 illnesses.
For instance, the SIN found that nitrate levels in Sardinias water were the second highest in the world, and the highest in Europe.
In the Sardines case, nitrate is known to increase the rate of death of Sardinian marine life.
“It’s clear that it affects the entire population,” says Moya.
Salinity has also been implicated in other marine life issues, like coral bleaching, which has caused massive losses in coral reefs around the world.
“Coral reefs are a major habitat for marine life,” says Professor David Dix, who heads the Department of Biology and Marine Sciences at UDS.
“They’re the main source of food for marine animals and plants.”
Salty seas are also an important source of nutrients for some plants and animals, like algae.
The Saline-Tallow-Ethanol (STE) system of algae production and degradation in the ocean is one of the most important systems in the ecosystem.
According to Professor Dix and other researchers, the STE system consists of a combination of saltwater, which feeds and nourishes fish, and oxygen, which provides the plants with nutrients.
The bacteria in the STEs systems are responsible, in part, for producing ammonia, which helps to create nitrates.
When this nutrient is released into the ocean, it can then be used to grow more nitrates in the water.
“If there’s too much ammonia, there’s not enough oxygen, there may not be enough plant life,” Moya says.
“The fish and other marine organisms that depend on this ecosystem need oxygen, so that they can survive.”
Nitrate levels have been increasing in Sardinas waters for several years, and Moya is now looking at whether these increased levels are related to climate change.
In April, researchers reported that the water in Sardina had increased to over 400 parts per million nitrate.
The increased nitrate concentration also coincided with the beginning of the El Niño climate pattern.
“When the temperature was very high, the algae bloats went up, so they had the ability to produce nitrates more quickly,” Moyas says.
According the UDS report, the number and concentration of nitrates have also increased in Sardino’s water, and “we’re seeing more algae bloating and more ammonia being released into our seas.”
“In the long run, the effects are not good,” says Dix.
“In Sardinia they’ve got to change, because if they don’t they’re going to have a lot of problems.”