Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Scientists trying to defeat blob of algae in Lake Erie

LONDON, Ont. -- Lake Erie has become a house of horrors haunted by floating blobs and dead zones.

But it'll only get worse unless governments on both sides of the border crack down on practices that threaten the lake, observers warn.

"There's no reason to predict anything else," said Raj Bejankiwar, a scientist with an international commission whose task sounds like something straight out of science fiction: Defeat the blob.

Algae blobs were first spotted a decade ago in Erie, but one grew so big -- about the size of Prince Edward Island -- it caused fear among those living along the lake's western shore.

"It was like putting green slime on the water. The whole western basin was covered in it," said Bill Peterson, a civic politician in Kingsville, Ont., near Windsor.

The blob grew to more than 5,000 sq. km. If the sight didn't scare you, the smell did: Peterson said it smelled like rotting fish.  (more...)

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