A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Environment - Dead Zone In The Gulf of Mexico Growing

The Associated Press reports that researchers are predicting that this summer, the dead zone off Louisiana's coast will grow to the largest size recorded.
The forecast, released today by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, is based on a federal estimate of nitrogen from the Mississippi River watershed to the Gulf of Mexico. It discounts the effect large storms or hurricanes might have.

The "dead zone" in the northern Gulf, at the end of the Mississippi River system, is the second-largest area of oxygen-depleted coastal waters in the world. Low oxygen, or hypoxia, can be caused by pollution from sources including farm fertilizer, soil erosion and discharge from sewage treatment plants, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
I wonder why the estimate discounts the effect of large storms or hurricanes, given that the area is so prone to such disasters? Is there a positive effect? A negative effect? No effect at all? Must research further.

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