Extensive patches of floating algae have appeared since mid-June in coastal waters off Qingdao, China, where the Olympic sailing competitions will be held on 9–23 August. By 27 June, field surveys showed that the patches occupied about 30%, or 15 square kilometers, of the 50-square-kilometer region designated for the competitions, posing potential problems for them, according to reports in local news media. The floating algae, whose spatial extent is the largest ever reported in the literature for the world's oceans (as revealed by satellite estimates indicated below), have attracted wide national and international attention since late June.
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