Scientists from Canada have just found out that the dead zone from the Gulf of Mexico will not disappear for some time. How come? Well, there is no way for farmers to fix this even if they stopped using fertilizer just this second.
Where is this happening and what is the history behind it?
There is a weird phenomenon that happens every year on the Louisiana coast. An area with no oxygen to help marine life thrive form on a yearly basis. This is all due to farmers using nitrogen fertilizer. Therefore, people are trying to reduce this area to just one third by 2035.
The Mississippi river carries all the fertilizer waste from 31 states to the basin of the river. A study has found out that all this nitrogen is stored into the underground layer and it going to take around 30 years to be released.
The lead author, Kim Van Meter, has said that the main goal of this study is to raise awareness of the fact that water quality needs to improve. Van Meter and the team of researchers looked at the way in which nitrogen is getting stored and how much more is still on its way and, last but not least, how can they help to eliminate it or lessen the effects of it.
Van Meter came up with a couple of solutions to fix this problem. He stated that, if things were to be fixed, there needs to be major changes to the way in which people farm their land. One example of this would be changing the corn crops to more sustainable and eco-friendly crops such as perennial tall grasses like switchgrass and even Miscanthus.
In the end, there needs to be a set of changes in order to fix this problem so that our future would not look bleak from all the pollution.