Monday, August 04, 2014

Stuck on Connecticut

The good news is the Gulf of Mexico hypoxia "Dead Zone" is slightly smaller than last year's.
This year's low-oxygen "dead zone" along Louisiana coast covers 5,052 square miles, an area the size of the state of Connecticut but about 800 square miles less than the 2013 dead zone, according to a week-long survey released Monday.

The finding, by a team of scientists led by Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium Director Nancy Rabalais, is within the range estimated in late June by scientists who based their prediction on measurements of the amount of nutrients carried in May by the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers. The dead zone is mostly caused by excessive nitrogen, mainly from Midwest agricultural runoff.
 So, roughly, Connecticut for two years running now.  The same was true for 2011, by the way.
The annual low-oxygen "dead zone" along the coasts of Louisiana and Texas covers 6,765 square miles, larger than average and bigger than the state of Connecticut, but is below the size predicted by scientists as a result of the record-breaking Mississippi River floodwaters entering the Gulf of Mexico this spring and summer, said Nancy Rabalais, chief scientist for the just-completed, annual Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium monitoring cruise.
2012 was an aberration.  More of a Delaware. 

Meanwhile, it turns out, there's even more BP oil damage to the Gulf than we thought.
Biologists have discovered that the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill is making a deeper impact on marine life than they had predicted.

As NewsHour’s Murrey Jacobson reported last year, the oil spill captured the world’s attention for polluting the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, shutting down area businesses — including fisheries and beaches — and fouling marshes and wetlands. Three companies were involved: oil giant BP; TransOcean, which operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig; and Halliburton.

Pennsylvania State University researchers recently found two partially dead, deep sea coral reefs 22 kilometers east of the site of the spill, according to a study released this week.

Before these findings, biologists only knew of one reef that was damaged by the oil spill.  The reef was closer to the surface and only 14 kilometers south west of the site where 210 million gallons of oil gushed into the the Gulf of Mexico over a period 87 days.
 But, remember, BP is pretty much done with dealing with this stuff regardless

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