Quantcast

Climate Change to Fuel More Toxic Algal Blooms, Dead Zones

Climate
Algal blooms in Lake St. Clair and in western Lake Erie in 2015. NASA Earth Observatory

Heavier rainfall linked to rising temperatures could substantially increase the volume of agricultural runoff flowing into waterways, triggering toxic algal blooms, according to new research.

A study published Thursday in the journal Science finds that heavier rainfall could increase nitrogen runoff in U.S. lakes, rivers and streams by 19 percent by the end of this century.


Last year, heavy rain caused an algal bloom in southern Florida that led the governor to declare a state of emergency, while a 2014 algal bloom contaminated the water supply in Toledo, Ohio.

"When we think about climate change, we are used to thinking about water quantity—drought, flooding, extreme rainfall and things along those lines," Anna Michalak, professor of global ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, California, and an author of the study, told the New York Times.

"Climate change is just as tightly linked to issues related to water quality, and it's not enough for the water to just be there, it has to be sustainable."

For a deeper dive:

New York Times, Washington Post, AP, Climate Central, InsideClimate News, Wired, The Verge

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A roller coaster on the Jersey Shore flooded after Hurricane Sandy. Photo credit: Hurricane_Sandy_New_Jersey_Pier.jpg: Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen / U.S. Air Force / New Jersey National Guard / CC BY 2.0

New Jersey will be the first state in the U.S. to require builders to take the climate crisis into consideration before seeking permission for a project.

Read More
The Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu speaks on Jan. 26 during a press briefing on studying the 2019-nCoV coronavirus and developing a vaccine to prevent it. Roman Balandin / TASS / Getty Images

Editor's note: The coronavirus that started in Wuhan has sickened more than 4,000 people and killed at least 100 in China as of Jan. 27, 2020. Thailand and Hong Kong each have reported eight confirmed cases, and five people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the illness. People are hoping for a vaccine to slow the spread of the disease.

Read More
Sponsored
Healthline ranks Samoas, seen above, as the 11th healthiest Girl Scout Cookie. brian / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Nancy Schimelpfening

  • Nutrition experts say healthy eating is about making good choices most of the time.
  • Treats like cookies can be eaten in moderation.
  • Information like total calories, saturated fat, and added sugars can be used to compare which foods are relatively healthier.
  • However, it's also important to savor and enjoy what you're eating so you don't feel deprived.

Yes, we know. Cookies aren't considered a "healthy" food by any stretch of the imagination.

Read More
Actress Jane Fonda is arrested during the "Fire Drill Friday" Climate Change Protest on Oct. 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. John Lamparski / Getty Images

When you see an actor in handcuffs, they're usually filming a movie. But when Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, Sally Field, and other celebrities were arrested in Washington, D.C., last fall, the only cameras rolling were from the news media.

Read More
A solitary Dungeness crab sits in the foreground, at low tide on an overcast day. The crabs' shells are dissolving because of ocean acidification on the West Coast. Claudia_Kuenkel / iStock / Getty Images

As the Pacific Ocean becomes more acidic, Dungeness crabs, which live in coastal areas, are seeing their shells eaten away, according to a new study commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Read More