Biggest Dead Zone Ever Forecast in Gulf of Mexico

Climate Destabilization's increased of the water cycle, with heavier flooding events, impacts ocean anoxic events. Spring floods in the Midwest are predicted to create a record breaking Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone this year. More flooding = less seafood.


A possibly record-breaking, New Jersey-size dead zone may put a chokehold on the Gulf of Mexico (map) this summer, according to a forecast released this week.

Unusually robust spring floods in the U.S. Midwest are flushing agricultural runoff—namely, nitrogen and phosphorus—into the Gulf and spurring giant algal blooms, which lead to dead zones, or areas devoid of oxygen that occur in the summer.

The forecast, developed by the University of Michigan and Louisiana State University with support from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, estimates a Gulf dead zone of between 7,286 and 8,561 square miles (18,870 and 22,172 square kilometers). The largest ever reported in the Gulf, 8,481 square miles (21,965 square kilometers), occurred in 2002. [emphasis mine]

Tags: Dead Zone, Gulf of Mexico

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