02 Aug '11, 12am

Recent mapping shows the Gulf dead zone is smaller than expected...so why aren’t researchers rejoicing? via @nytimes

As the Midwest reeled from catastrophic flooding this spring, scientists warned of devastating consequences for the Gulf of Mexico this summer. They feared that chemicals and waste rushing down the Mississippi would result in the largest-ever oxygen-depleted “dead zone” measured in the gulf since monitoring began in 1985. New results are in: on Monday, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration announced that a team of scientists mapping the dead zone had just returned from a midsummer research cruise. The zone was mapped at 6,765 square miles — above average, but not as large as the 8,500 to 9,400 square miles predicted earlier. In fact, this year’s dead zone is only the 11th-largest of those recorded in the last 20 years. But it’s hardly time for a collective sigh of relief. Nancy Rabalais, chief scientist of the Louisiana Marine Consortium, who led the re...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/01/did-a-storm-dis...

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