Nitrogen Runoff & Algal Blooms Increasing Due to Global Warming

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 24 April 2019



Massive Lake Erie Algal Bloom of July 2018
Lake Erie Algal Bloom, July 2018, For NOAA, by Aerial Associates Photography, Inc, by Zachary Haslick.
For NOAA, by Aerial Associates Photography, Inc, by Zachary Haslick


Nitrogen Runoff & Algal Blooms Increasing Due to Global Warming

Changes in Rainfall and Temperatures have Already Impacted Water Quality,
Carnegie Institution for Science, April 24, 2019.


“Changes in temperature and precipitation have already impacted the amount of nitrogen introduced into U.S. waterways...”

“This can lead to toxin-producing algal blooms or low-oxygen dead zones called hypoxia. Over the past several summers, dead zones and algal blooms in lake and coastal regions across the United States have received extensive news coverage.”

Proof in the Past
“...they looked backward to analyze long-term trends in nitrogen runoff going back to the 1980s.”

Direct Impact of Warming
“...warming springtime temperatures and accompanying storms having a direct impact on nitrogen runoff.”

"What we have shown is that deteriorating lake and coastal water quality is not just about how we develop land and how much fertilizer we use on fields; it's also about how human action at a global scale is changing rainfall and temperatures,."


Bottom Line

On the Dangers List
It’s time to begin thinking about this year’s potential for blue green water threats as rising temps begin to melt the snowpack. But, this threat, like fire, is further down on our, “dangers list,” from the initial dangers we’ll confront from hiking across steep, snow covered terrain, the rise of raging rivers and dangerous fording conditions, and the chances of powerful late season storms coming through.

We’ll really begin watching for blue green water when the thaw decreases, slows down, and Sierra waters begin to warm under the Summer sun.


July 2018

2018: Green Water Widespread Across United States & Whole Northern Hemisphere




News & Safety Information

Watch Out for the Green Water: Blue-Green Algae News and Safety Information

April 2019 News of Man & Nature








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