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Research Clarifies Causes and Future of Growing Dead Zone in Green Bay

NCCOS researchers from the Coastal Hypoxia Research Program (CHRP) are modeling the dynamics of hypoxia in Green Bay to better understand intensifying eutrophic conditions in the southern end of the bay in recent decades. Since 1990, the number of annual dead zone days in Green Bay resulting from eutrophication has increased from roughly 4 to 43, and the problem appears to be worsening.

University, state agency, and local municipality partners are working together to solve the dead zone problem in Green Bay (see related coverage on WFRV–TV5). Using data from continuous monitoring stations, sediment oxygen demand measurements, tracer studies of particle movement and deposition, and nutrient loading estimates, investigators are integrating inter-annual to climate-scale variations in hypoxia growth. Projected changes in climate, with both warmer and wetter conditions, shifts in regional climatology, and increased frequency of heavy precipitation events could alter these dynamics and the onset and strength of hypoxia.

The project is led by Dr. J. Val Klump of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, along with partners from academic, state, and local institutions. For more information, contact Felix Martinez@noaa.gov.

 

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