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Posted Fri Aug 3 2012: from New York Times:
Big Drought Makes for a Small 'Dead Zone'
Researchers from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium have found that this summer's hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico - the oxygen-devoid area of water colloquially known as the dead zone - covers one of the smallest areas recorded since scientists began measuring the hypoxic zone in 1985.... "Because of the massive drought in the Midwest, there's a whole lot less fertilizer being flushed into the rivers and whole lot less water being flushed into the gulf," said Don Scavia, an aquatic ecologist with the University of Michigan.... Dr. Scavia said the small size of this year’s hypoxic zone was especially interesting because a reduction in the amount of nitrates entering the gulf has an immediate effect. "If we could find some way to stop all that nitrate from going down the river, the problem would be solved in a year or two," he said.
[Read more stories about: dead zones, drought, weather extremes]

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