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Record algae bloom in Lake Erie linked with global warming

This NASA Landsat-5 image shows the record-breaking algal bloom in Lake Eerie in October of 2011. The green scum is mostly microcystis, a toxin to mammals.

This NASA Landsat-5 image shows the record-breaking algal bloom in Lake Eerie in October of 2011. The green scum is mostly microcystis, a toxin to mammals.

2011 event was three times larger than any previously recorded bloom

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A record-breaking 2011 algae bloom — three time larger than any on record — in Lake Erie is a warning sign, as global warming is expected to generate more intense rainstorms that flush fertilizers from surrounding fields into the water.

The Lake Erie bloom was triggered by long-term agricultural practices coupled with extreme precipitation, followed by weak lake circulation and warm temperatures, the researchers said, concluding that the lake will continue to experience extreme blooms unless agricultural practices change.

While the changing climate is a key factor, some of the impacts could be mitigated with best management practices, a group of researchers concluded in a new study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Continue reading

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