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

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]