June 20 News: 2013’s Gulf Of Mexico Dead Zone Could Be Biggest Ever

The dead zone is indicated in red. (Credit: NOAA/Time)

The massive Midwestern drought of 2012 reduced rainfall and fertilizer carried into the Gulf of Mexico by runoff, meaning the algae blooms that cause the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone were unusually small. 2013 will be different. [Time]

Heavy rainfall in the Midwest this spring has led to flood conditions, with states like Minnesota and Illinois experiencing some of the wettest spring seasons on record. And all that flooding means a lot more nitrogen-based fertilizer running off into the Gulf. According to an annual estimate from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sponsored modelers at the University of Michigan, Louisiana State University and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, this year’s dead zone could be as large as 8,561 sq. miles—roughly the size of New Jersey. That would make it the biggest dead zone on record. And even the low end of the estimate would place this year among the top 10 biggest dead zones on record. Barring an unlikely change in the weather, much of the Gulf of Mexico could become an aquatic desert.

Emails reveal that Exxon Mobil misled the public about the extent of contamination in Lake Conway from the recent Pegasus pipeline oil spill in Arkansas. [TreeHugger]

Migratory seabirds are starving to death, a problem biologists are linking to climate change and overfishing. [Washington Post]

Rolling Stone has compiled the ten dumbest things ever said about climate change. [Rolling Stone]

The Obama administration is preparing to impose limits on existing power plants as part of his soon-to-be-released plan to combat climate change, the White House’s energy and environment adviser said Wednesday. [New York Times]

Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer is launching a new online campaign to press President Obama to do more on climate change and to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. [SFGate]

A new report by the Center for American Progress finds the federal government spends far more on cleaning up after storms than it does on preparing communities for extreme weather. [Los Angeles Times]

The unseasonably hot, dry weather in Alaska has helped spurn wildfires in part of the state. [Washington Post]

About 350 Walgreens stores will soon be equipped with solar power. [Chicago Tribune]

BP is trying to convince lawmakers to keep current rules mandating the use of renewable fuels, instead of abolishing them. [Bloomberg]

New Zealand’s worst drought in decades has hurt the country’s economic growth. [Wall Street Journal]

Despite a wet spring, drought conditions are returning to Northern Colorado [The Coloradoan]

Within five years natural gas could challenge oil as the world’s dominate transportation fuel, according to the International Energy Agency. [Market Watch]

Clean Technica updated their rankings of the top wind power countries per capita, drawing from the Global Wind Energy Council’s latest numbers. [Clean Technica]

And here’s their latest ranking of all 50 U.S. states by policies friendly to solar power, taken from Solar Power Rocks. [Clean Technica]

31 Responses to June 20 News: 2013’s Gulf Of Mexico Dead Zone Could Be Biggest Ever

  1. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    “Gulf of *NEW* Mexico”?

  2. Spike says:

    Torrential rains four and a half times as heavy as usual have hit Uttarakhand, known as the “Land of the Gods”, where Hindu shrines and temples built high in the mountains attract many pilgrims.

  3. rollin says:

    “Migratory seabirds are starving to death, a problem biologists are linking to climate change and overfishing.”

    Years ago the albatross started disappearing due to factory fishing stealing their food sources. Now other birds are dying from the huge maw of humanity that must be fed or the pollution that mankind produces to keep it’s “civilization” going.
    The fish are going, the plankton will dissolve, species will die by the thousands.
    Our heritage to the world.

  4. Raul M. says:

    Are there different chemicals used for day chemtrails than used for night time chemtrails? Seems the aluminum would be a daytime chemtrails. What would nighttime chemtrails be made up of? And if the films show the trail coming from some other place than engine exhaust wouldn’t that mean direct involvement with the pilot.

  5. Raul M. says:

    What new chemical means are use in NPP cooling and fuel pool cooling than just straight cooling water? Have the operators started recycling cooling water that is super cooled before resent to the reactor?

  6. fj says:

    Those hot Caribbean clear water places people like to holiday at so much are essentially aquatic deserts.

    Dead zones are likely much worse.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Time to Act on Climate Change – Letter to the Editor
    It’s time to stop debating climate change and start doing something about it. David W. Fischer of North Syracuse, founder of notes the 25th anniversary of the testimony in Washington of scientists who alerted the U.S. senate on climate change.

  8. Jacob says:

    David? Charles? Is that one of you guys?

  9. prokaryotes says:

    Interesting what happens if i past pieces of your comment into google, why do you spam this nonsense?

  10. prokaryotes says:

    Teller’s paper actually describes two mitigation schemes, one involving putting stuff in the stratosphere, and the other a more ambitious plan to station material at the Earth-Sun L1 point. This is a semi-stable orbital point approximately a million miles towards the Sun from the Earth. Teller et al calculate that only 3000 tons of smart material located at L1 would diffract away enough sunlight from Earth to eliminate global warming. Of course it will be some time before we can put or manipulate this much material in space. Benford suggests (in his interview) beginning a pilot scheme to put 100 micron particles into the arctic stratosphere during the summer, in order to try to reverse the loss of arctic sea ice and save the polar bears. By design (and in fact, it’s hard to avoid) these would snow out every year so they have to be replaced each summer, at an annual cost of about $100 million, he estimates.

  11. prokaryotes says:

    But we know today better…

    Sulfate Aerosols Cool Climate Less Than Assumed

  12. prokaryotes says:

    Climate change affects the sources of ozone precursors through physical response (lightning), biological response (soils, vegetation, biomass burning) and human response (energy generation, land use, agriculture). It is generally expected that lightning will increase in a warmer climate (Price and Rind, 1994a; Brasseur et al., 2005; Hauglustaine et al., 2005), although a GCM study by Stevenson et al. (2006) for the 2030 climate finds no global increase but instead a shift from the tropics to mid-latitudes. Perturbations to lightning could have a large effect on ozone in the upper troposphere (Toumi et al., 1996; Thompson et al., 2000; Martin et al., 2002; Wong et al., 2004). Mickley et al. (2001) find that observed long-term trends in ozone over the past century might be explainable by an increase in lightning.

  13. prokaryotes says:

    ‘Nother great advertisement (both adverts come with great messaging)

  14. prokaryotes says:

    Alberta floods: 2 believed missing after trailer swept into river near Calgary

    Think tar sand sludge pond…

  15. prokaryotes says:

    Record flooding in the heart of the Alberta tar sands dramatically illustrates their threat to Canada’s ‘Serengeti’, the Mackenzie River basin. Only days before this week’s flooding in Fort McMurray, a panel of international science experts warned that the nearly 200 square kilometres of toxic wastewater lakes near rivers like the Athabasca pose a direct threat one of the world’s most important ecosystems

  16. Jacob says:

    It appears the original (nonsensical) post, which I was replying to here, was taken down. Bravo.

  17. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The Collapse is entering its fulminating stage, where every ecological calamity asserts an exacerbating influence on others, and there are, as far as I can see, no mitigating natural or anthropic influences whatsoever. The impending economic implosion won’t help, either. And still the Bosses resolutely refuse to reverse course.

  18. prokaryotes says:

    Sulfate Aerosols Cool Climate Less Than Assumed
    Canada Alberta Calgary Floods June 20, 2013

  19. prokaryotes says:

    Ahab is still commanding and deciding on the faith for the human race.

  20. Calamity Jean says:

    “The unseasonably hot, dry weather in Alaska has helped _spurn_ wildfires in part of the state.”

    I think you meant “spur”. “Spurn” means “reject”.

  21. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    More than one ‘Great White Whales’ bearing down, and I’m not just talking about Rightwing politicians.

  22. Raul M. says:

    A fast shut down of a nuclear plant would require much energy to cool the nuke material. So if the power plant shut down export of energy from the plant at a sooner pace then the plant could start up a self cooling system that required much more energy that a battery generator system. A plant would produce a continually reducing amount of electricity as the reactors cooled and a reducing amount of energy wound be needed to run the super cooling system that recycled the cooling fluid.
    Just thinking.