Another Reason to Keep Ethanol Out of Your Gas Tank
by Scott Smith
Researchers have found 9,650 square miles of “dead zones,” or oxygen-depleted water, in the Gulf of Mexico this summer, the biggest area since tracking of the annual phenomenon began.
The Louisiana dead zone is caused mostly by nitrogen-based fertilizers carried by the Mississippi from America’s farm belt into the Gulf, she said. The nitrogen feeds the growth of algae, which depletes oxygen from the water.
Corn needs more fertilizer than other crops, which is probably why tests have found more nitrogen in the Mississippi this year, Rabalais said.