Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Warmer Weather Could Fuel More Toxic Algae Blooms

Algae from Lake Erie (Credit: Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
... it’s not just Lake Erie — freshwater harmful algae blooms have sprung up all over the country, in Utah, Florida, and Kansas, where they contaminated the city of Norton’s water supply two weeks ago.  There’s a consensus among researchers that climate change is making it worse.

Just to be clear:  Nutrient pollution from agriculture is a major cause of algae growth.  Coupled with the sun’s rays, it’s basically bloom fuel.

“What is sort of new about the issue is that we now see a synergistic effect with climate change along with the nutrient over enrichment problem,” says University of North Carolina Chapel Hill professor of marine and environmental sciences Hans Paerl.  “That’s led to an even more potent combination.”

The bacteria thrives at warm temperatures.  Generally, the warmer it gets, the more it can grow.  So climate change essentially widens the season for blooms to develop, Davis explains.

Read more at Warmer Weather Could Fuel More Toxic Algae Blooms

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