Gulf of Mexico’s ‘dead zone’ larger than average this year

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Researchers say this year’s Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” is larger than average. Scientists determined that the area off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas covers about 6,334 square miles. The average size of the area where there’s too little oxygen to support marine life has been 5,380 square miles over the past five years. Officials said Tuesday that the area could have been larger than the average-sized zone it predicted in June because Mississippi River discharge that drained into the Gulf was above normal for the three weeks before the survey.

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