by Georgina Gustin, InsideClimate News
The historic rains that flooded millions of acres of Midwestern cropland this spring landed a blow to an already struggling farm economy.
They also delivered bad news for the climate.
Scientists project that all that water has flushed vast amounts of fertilizer and manure into waterways, triggering a potentially unprecedented season of algae blooms. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted that the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico—a massive overgrowth of algae—could become the size of Massachusetts this summer, coming close to a record set in 2017, and that an algae bloom in Lake Erie could also reach a record size.