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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Algal Blooms 3

Algal Blooms 3

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, July 10, 2016/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, sustainability, environment

                  Lake Okeechobee Algal Bloom observed July 2, 2016, by the Landsat 8 (credit: NASA)

Recently, we noted the massive algal bloom that hit Florida begining in May. The green goop formed in Lake Okeechobee and subsequently flowerd into rivers, canals, and onto ocean beaches. The rotting muck has now even been observed from space as new satellite imagery shows. It has been called "toxic quacamole".

According to NASA, the bloom has grown to cover 33 square miles of the lake by early July. It developed as blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) grew rapidely when ag-chemicals such nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers The pollution derived as runoff from farms and orchards runoff became abundant in the lake water. The bloom is blamed for affecting water quality all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Water samples have tested positive for high levels of algal toxins and besides disrupting ecosystems they are concerns to public health since drinking toxin-tainted water can cause nausea, vomiting and even liver failure.  

An environmental 'state of emergency' has been declared but the algae continues to bloom.



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