24 May '11, 3pm

Solutions for Shrinking the Dead Zone in the Aftermath of the Great Flood of 2011

The Mississippi River Flood of 2011 has upended thousands of lives. Residents have seen their homes destroyed and farmers have seen their crops inundated. But the damage done by this flood isn’t limited to the length of the river. As flood waters scoured the farmlands of the Midwest, they picked up enormous amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus and funneled them down river into the Gulf of Mexico. The massive influx of these two pollutants is expected to create a “Dead Zone” of lifeless water, perhaps the largest ever recorded in the Gulf. The wave of water moving down the Mississippi this month was clearly an extreme event, but it shines a spotlight on a process that is happening all the time. When it rains, runoff pulls nitrogen, phosphorus, and other chemicals off of farmlands and city streets, dumps them into the river, and sends them down into the Gulf. There, nitrogen a...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dbeckman/solutions_for_...

Tweets

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earthobservatory.nasa.gov 24 May '11, 11pm

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