Posted by: pyeager | June 17, 2011

Largest “Dead Zone” Is Predicted for Gulf of Mexico

By Paul Yeager, author of Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

Nutrient-rich water pouring into the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River snuffs out oxygen and results in a “dead zone.” This happens every year, but with the historic flooding along the Mississippi this year, this dead zone is projected to be the largest since records began.

NOAA image showing projected dead zone in Gulf of Mexico this year

NOAA image showing projected dead zone in Gulf of Mexico this year

The nutrients are at least partially caused by agriculture-related activity along the Mississippi.

Records haven’t been kept that long–only since 1985–so it’s impossible to say if this is truly a record dead spot. Regardless, it’s another problem for those who depend on fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, quickly following on the heels of the BP disaster last summer.

For more information, read NOAA’s press release (Major flooding on the Mississippi river predicted to cause largest Gulf of Mexico dead zone ever recorded).

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