Hypoxia and fish kills continue to be common in the Neuse River Estuary of North Carolina. Our group aims to identify key sources of nitrogen loading within the watershed, and to provide management-relevant hypoxia and algal bloom forecasts for the estuary. This ongoing research has been featured in two Sea Grant blog posts:
Forecasting Hypoxia, Algal Blooms for the Neuse River Estuary
Investigating Nitrogen Loading Trends in the Neuse River Basin
High levels of spring nitrogen loading from the Mississippi River, coupled with typical flow and wind patterns on the shelf, should produce an above-average hypoxic zone this summer in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. An ensemble of models has predicted a ‘Dead Zone’ between 14,000 and 30,000 sq km (90% predictive interval). The best estimate from the Obenour et al. model is 19,100 sq km.
Perhaps the third largest hypoxic zone ever?
Similar to last year, an average level of spring nitrogen loading from the Mississippi River, coupled with typical flow and wind patterns, is leading to an average forecast of hypoxic area and volume for the northern Gulf of Mexico. An ensemble of models has predicted a ‘Dead Zone’ between 8,300 and 22,300 sq km (90% predictive interval). The best estimate from the Obenour et al. model is 14,700 sq km.
Janet Pelley of C&E News discusses the challenges of nutrient management and HAB control with various researchers:
NOAA just released an ensemble forecast for hypoxia this summer. Based on our semi-mechanistic forecasting model (included in the NOAA ensemble) we predict a hypoxic zone of about 5,985 square miles, slightly larger than the state of Connecticut.
AGU EOS Article
NOAA press release
Read more about our model here: Ecological Applications