Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Government plan to revive 'Dead Zone' in Gulf of Mexico could backfire

Date:
November 8, 2007
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The potential revision to the government's approach for rejuvenating a huge "Dead Zone" in the Gulf of Mexico is potentially dangerous and should be reconsidered, scientists in Michigan are reporting in a new study. The Gulf of Mexico has one of the largest hypoxic, or oxygen-depleted, areas in the world. Fish and plants in this 6,000 square mile "Dead Zone" have been devastated, leaving the waters incapable of sustaining many types of aquatic life.

Oxygen-depleted waters in the 'Dead Zone' are incapable of sustaining many types of aquatic life.
Credit: Courtesy of Kerry St. Pe

The potential revision to the government's approach for rejuvenating a huge "Dead Zone" in the Gulf of Mexico is potentially dangerous and should be reconsidered, scientists in Michigan are reporting in a new study.

In the study, Donald Scavia and Kristina A. Donnelly point out that the Gulf of Mexico has one of the largest hypoxic, or oxygen-depleted, areas in the world. Fish and plants in this 6,000 square mile "Dead Zone" have been devastated, leaving the waters incapable of sustaining many types of aquatic life. In response, an intergovernmental task force gave the U. S. Congress and the President a so-called Hypoxia Action Plan in 2001, which aimed to reduce the size of the Dead Zone.

That original plan called for reducing nitrogen loads to the Gulf, but recent assessments are considering phosphorus as the limiting factor in controlling the algae blooms that deplete oxygen from the Gulf water, and focusing on reducing sewage discharges and other inputs of phosphorus.

The new study concluded that pollution control efforts must continue to focus on nitrogen even if phosphorus controls are added. It found that a phosphorus-only approach is potentially dangerous. Using mathematical model estimates and real-world data from other hypoxia reduction experiences in North Carolina and Hong Kong waters, the researchers suggest that a phosphorus-only approach could possibly enlarge the Dead Zone, extending it into the western portion of the Gulf.

"The prudent approach would be to address both nitrogen and phosphorus," the researchers said.

The article "Reassessing Hypoxia Forecasts for the Gulf of Mexico" is scheduled for the Dec. 1 issue of Environmental Science & Technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Government plan to revive 'Dead Zone' in Gulf of Mexico could backfire." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071105094933.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2007, November 8). Government plan to revive 'Dead Zone' in Gulf of Mexico could backfire. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071105094933.htm
American Chemical Society. "Government plan to revive 'Dead Zone' in Gulf of Mexico could backfire." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071105094933.htm (accessed October 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins