U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
EPA Science Advisory Board
Background Information

Document NameClimate, hypoxia and fisheries: Implications of global climate change for the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone
Document AuthorJustić, D.
Rabalais, N.N.
Turner, R.E.
Short DescriptionIn R. F. Kazmierczak, Jr. and L. J. Thibodeaux (eds.) Proceedings of the 2000 Louisiana Environmental State of the State Conference, available on line at the Department of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness, Louisiana State University, http:www.agecon.lsu.edu/ESOS-V Proceedings/index.htm
CategorySubgroup 1: Characterization of the Cause(s) of Hypoxia
Publication Year2003

Abstract: A large-scale hypoxic zone (< 2 mg O2 l-1) in the coastal waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico, recently approaching 20,000 km2, overlaps with habitat and fishing grounds of commercial fish and shrimp species. Projections of general circulation models have indicated that the Mississippi River runoff would increase if atmospheric CO2 concentration doubles. A higher freshwater runoff would be accompanied by an increase in temperatures over the Gulf Coast region of 2 to 4oC. These two results are likely to affect water column stability, surface productivity and global oxygen cycling in the northern Gulf of Mexico, leading perhaps to an expanded hypoxic zone.

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