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Posted Tue Aug 10 2010: from PhysOrg:
Scientists find Gulf of Mexico dead zone only 'fifth largest on record'
NOAA-supported scientists have found this year's Gulf of Mexico dead zone to be the fifth largest on record at 7,722 square miles - an area the size of New Jersey, near the upper limit of their projections, but tropical storm activity in the Gulf of Mexico caused the zone to be a patchwork rather than a continuous band. This year's dead zone is nearly double that of 2009's, which was smaller than average. A series of storms and high wind and wave conditions in the shallower waters to the west of the Atchafalaya River delta mixed oxygen into the traditional dead zone area before last year's survey cruise. Last year's dead zone measured approximately 3,000 square miles.... The eastern portion of the dead zone does overlap with the region significantly impacted by the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, however, scientists conducting the cruise think that it is unlikely that the oil spill had a significant impact on the size of the zone.... The average size of the dead zone over the past five years has been 6,653 square miles, much larger than 1,900 square miles which is the target goal set by the Gulf of Mexico/Mississippi River Watershed Nutrient Task Force.
[Read more stories about: dead zones, fertilizer runoff]
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'Doc Michael says:
Since when did "average" and "traditional" and "target" come to be associated with a state-sized "dead zone"?

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