• Good News From The Bad Drought: Gulf 'Dead Zone' Smallest In Years
    20 replies, posted
[quote][b]COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The worst drought to hit the United States in at least 50 years does have one benefit: it has created the smallest "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico in years, says a Texas A&M University researcher who has just returned from gulf waters.[/b] Oceanography professor Steve DiMarco, one of the world's leading authorities on the dead zone, says he and other Texas A&M researchers and graduate students analyzed the Gulf Aug. 15-21 and covered more than 1,200 miles of cruise track, from Texas to Louisiana. [b]The team found no hypoxia off the Texas coast while only finding hypoxia near the Mississippi River delta on the Louisiana coast.[/b] "We had to really hunt to find any hypoxia at all and Texas had none," he explains. "The most severe hypoxia levels were found near Terrabonne Bay and Barataria Bay off the coast of southeast Louisiana. "In all, we found about 1,580 square miles of hypoxia compared to about 3,400 square miles in August 2011. [b]What has happened is that the drought has caused very little fresh-water runoff and nutrient load into the Gulf, and that means a smaller region for marine life to be impacted."[/b] DiMarco has made 27 research trips to investigate the dead zone since 2003. DiMarco says the size of the dead zone off coastal Louisiana has been routinely monitored for about 25 years. [b]Previous research has also shown that nitrogen levels in the Gulf related to human activities have tripled over the past 50 years. During the past five years, the dead zone has averaged about 5,700 square miles and has reached as high as 9,400 square miles.[/b] Hypoxia is when oxygen levels in seawater drop to dangerously low levels, defined as concentrations less than 2 milligrams per liter, and persistent hypoxia can potentially result in fish kills and harm marine life, thereby creating a "dead zone" of life in that particular area.[/b] [b]The Mississippi is the largest river in the United States, draining 40 percent of the land area of the country. It also accounts for almost 90 percent of the freshwater runoff into the Gulf of Mexico.[/b] "These findings confirm what we found in a trip to the Gulf back in June, and also what other researchers in Louisiana have discovered, so there is general agreement that the dead zone this year is a very, very small one. "But the situation could certainly change by next spring," DiMarco adds. "The changes we see year to year are extreme. For example, last year, record flooding of the Mississippi River and westerly winds in the Gulf led to a much larger hypoxic area, particularly earlier in the summer. We'll just have to wait and see what kind of rainfall is in store for the Midwest over the next 8-10 months."[/quote] [url]http://www.underwatertimes.com/news.php?article_id=41015703826[/url] [QUOTE=OvB;37335952]Drought sucks. Although I'm curious what the effects of less chemical runoff from farms off the Mississippi on the gulf of mexico. It's bad for the freshwater ecosystems but the gulf might appreciative the break from the annual onslaught of fertilizer and chemicals that make the BP oil spill look like nothing. [editline]20th August 2012[/editline] I feel bad for all the farmers and other people whose livelyhoods are threatened from this.[/QUOTE] The Mississippi River is a toxic waste sewer for most of the farms in the US.(and everything else that dumps their shit into it) Oil is only a minor threat to the Gulf compared to the constant, intentional dump of chemicals the Gulf receives each year. Why don't we treat farms and fertilizer companies the way we treat oil companies? At least oil spills are an accident, which companies try to avoid because they don't want to lose their product. Fertilizer run-off is a by-product of using the fertilizer but no one bats an eye at it. Hell, people have been wanting to use Ethanol as a "greener" alternative to petroleum based fuel. Except that requires more corn farms which require more fertilizer which makes the gigantic desert in the ocean bigger. All in the name of using oil less right? The annual dead zone is practically the size of the BP oil spill that was such a disaster. Except you know, it's always there, and get's rebuilt each year. Fertilizer kills the ocean. The corn lobby is just as much of an enemy of the sea, if not moreso, as the oil lobby. But no one knows about it. [img_thumb]http://i.imgur.com/gp5O6.jpg[/img_thumb]
Corn lobby cares not about the sea lobby. Corn lobby is in the middle of land lobby. Lobby lobby lobby.
Cleaning up fertilizer after you use it is nearly impossible. To do it properly would be such a gigantic expense. You'd have to do something similar to what landfills do and put a plastic barrier underneath the entire farm.
If you got Google earth you can go on the ocean layers and see all the coastal deadzones. Hint: It's pretty much all over.
Personally I'd prefer electric cars over ethanol cars.
[QUOTE=Hidole555;37440710]Personally I'd prefer electric cars over ethanol cars.[/QUOTE] Biofuel is a dumb, expensive waste of resources. [editline]28th August 2012[/editline] [B]Bring in hard-to-contain dangerous flammable hydrogen![/B]
[QUOTE=mac338;37440786]Biofuel is a dumb, expensive waste of resources. [editline]28th August 2012[/editline] [B]Bring in hard-to-contain dangerous flammable hydrogen![/B][/QUOTE] [i] Warranty does not cover being late for work because your car exploded[/i]
Ohgod Sweden / Denmark :v:
[QUOTE=ice445;37418014]Cleaning up fertilizer after you use it is nearly impossible. To do it properly would be such a gigantic expense. You'd have to do something similar to what landfills do and put a plastic barrier underneath the entire farm.[/QUOTE] Or we can stop subsidizing corn ridiculous amounts and instead subsidize proper crop rotation using crop choices which supplement each other. Y'know, that thing we figured out over a thousand years ago. Less fertilizer needed, less fuel spent moving fertilizer, less damage to the environment.
[QUOTE=mac338;37417980]Corn lobby cares not about the sea lobby. Corn lobby is in the middle of land lobby. Lobby lobby lobby.[/QUOTE]Someone needs to make a film about lobbies going to war against each other.
The hurricanes storm surge is making the Mississippi temporarily flow backwards. TAKE BACK YOUR DAMN HYPOXIA YE BASTARD WE DON'T WANT IT! Until all the rain causes the Mississippi to dump even more crap.
[QUOTE=GunFox;37443692]Or we can stop subsidizing corn ridiculous amounts and instead subsidize proper crop rotation using crop choices which supplement each other. Y'know, that thing we figured out over a thousand years ago. Less fertilizer needed, less fuel spent moving fertilizer, less damage to the environment.[/QUOTE] Oil companies need their money don't you understand
[QUOTE=Sgt Doom;37443720]Someone needs to make a film about lobbies going to war against each other.[/QUOTE] The anti-lobby lobby would not be happy about that.
[QUOTE=ice445;37418014]Cleaning up fertilizer after you use it is nearly impossible. To do it properly would be such a gigantic expense. You'd have to do something similar to what landfills do and put a plastic barrier underneath the entire farm.[/QUOTE] Going back to less intesive methods and developing more accurate methods would do the trick. Also there is no sense in the US (and most other developed nations)producing so much corn anyway, it is HEAVILY subsidized and protected by taxes, all the while really fucking expensive and fertilizer-intesive. [editline]28th August 2012[/editline] [QUOTE=mac338;37440786]Biofuel is a dumb, expensive waste of resources. [editline]28th August 2012[/editline] [B]Bring in hard-to-contain dangerous flammable hydrogen![/B][/QUOTE] It would not be if we could use waste to produce it. Bio-Gas for example. Or human sewage. It just would need some massive investment in a system for it to develop, the TECHNOLOGY IS THERE! [editline]28th August 2012[/editline] [url]http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=5936&title=Germany+boosts+biogas+from+new+sewage+treatment+plant[/url]
[QUOTE=dije;37443453]Ohgod Sweden / Denmark :v:[/QUOTE] What about Norway :(
Rock on scandinavia Spray that fertilizer
[QUOTE=kaskade700;37444947]Rock on scandinavia Spray that fertilizer[/QUOTE] It's more likely the UK's fault, Sweden has made a massive amount of complaints about our pollution being swept over to the Baltic/ North sea due to air and sea currents :v:.
[QUOTE=Hidole555;37440710]Personally I'd prefer electric cars over ethanol cars.[/QUOTE] Yea, ethanol is shit anyway. It currently requires more energy to make ethanol than it can output, and destroys your engine and gas tank.
[QUOTE=mac338;37440786]Biofuel is a dumb, expensive waste of resources. [editline]28th August 2012[/editline] [B]Bring in hard-to-contain dangerous flammable hydrogen![/B][/QUOTE] If we develop reliable hydrogen fuel-cells, that'd be a step towards solving the conundrum of reliable containment of hydrogen in enough amounts to have a decent miles-per-gallon.
[QUOTE=dije;37443453]Ohgod Sweden / Denmark :v:[/QUOTE] There's extremely little farming in Norway. It's just literally just mountains and forests. Pretty sure the same goes for Sweden. Denmark however. Holy shit, If you'd ever been there you would know the whole damn country is a giant farm plot.
[QUOTE=ironman17;37458112]If we develop reliable hydrogen fuel-cells, that'd be a step towards solving the conundrum of reliable containment of hydrogen in enough amounts to have a decent miles-per-gallon.[/QUOTE] but hydrogen bombs on wheels
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