Average Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' predicted this summer - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Average Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' predicted this summer

Source: NOAA Source: NOAA

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal scientists expect an average oxygen-starved "dead zone" off Louisiana's coast this summer.

They're predicting an area nearly 5,500 square miles: about the size of Connecticut.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that for the first time, it's combining four models. In a news release, it says those estimates range from 4,344 to 5,985 square miles.

Scientists say the area is created because the Mississippi River carries nutrients from farm runoff, sewage and other sources into the Gulf. They feed algae blooms, which feed microscopic animals. Algae and animals die, fall and decompose, using oxygen from the bottom up.

NOAA says this year's forecast combines models developed by teams and researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and universities in Louisiana, Michigan, Virginia, Texas and North Carolina.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

What is a "dead zone" and how does it happen? Mobile users can watch a video here. 

  • NationalMore>>

  • Bloody but forgotten WWII battle still haunts soldiers

    Bloody but forgotten WWII battle still haunts soldiers

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:34 AM EDT2018-05-27 15:34:09 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 6:06 AM EDT2018-05-28 10:06:01 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...(AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

    more>>

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

    more>>
  • 'Solo' sputters in takeoff with $83.3M at box office

    'Solo' sputters in takeoff with $83.3M at box office

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:54 AM EDT2018-05-27 15:54:44 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 6:05 AM EDT2018-05-28 10:05:21 GMT
    (Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm via AP). In this image released by Lucasfilm, Alden Ehrenreich, right, and Joonas Suotamo appear in a scene from "Solo: A Star Wars Story."(Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm via AP). In this image released by Lucasfilm, Alden Ehrenreich, right, and Joonas Suotamo appear in a scene from "Solo: A Star Wars Story."
    The Han Solo spinoff "Solo: A Star Wars Story" came in well below expectations with an $83.3 million opening weekend at the North American box office.more>>
    The Han Solo spinoff "Solo: A Star Wars Story" came in well below expectations with an $83.3 million opening weekend at the North American box office.more>>
  • Shortage expected after floods smother Hawaii staple crop

    Shortage expected after floods smother Hawaii staple crop

    Monday, May 28 2018 1:44 AM EDT2018-05-28 05:44:29 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 6:05 AM EDT2018-05-28 10:05:07 GMT
    (Christian Kahahawai/Kahahawai Photography via AP). This May 29, 2016 photo provided by Christian Kahahawai shows Lyndsey Haraguchi-Nakayama planting huli, or taro seedlings at her farm in Hanalei, Kauai island, Hawaii. Farmers on the Hawaiian island o...(Christian Kahahawai/Kahahawai Photography via AP). This May 29, 2016 photo provided by Christian Kahahawai shows Lyndsey Haraguchi-Nakayama planting huli, or taro seedlings at her farm in Hanalei, Kauai island, Hawaii. Farmers on the Hawaiian island o...
    Farmers say Hawaii should brace for a shortage of its traditional crop taro after record-breaking rains flooded their fields on the island of Kauai last month.more>>
    Farmers say Hawaii should brace for a shortage of its traditional crop taro after record-breaking rains flooded their fields on the island of Kauai last month.more>>
Powered by Frankly