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.
Read more about our model here: Ecological Applications
Find our original study here, at Water Resources Research.