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Dead ZonesThe Loss of Oxygen from Rivers, Lakes, Seas, and the Ocean$
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David L. Kirchman

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197520376

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197520376.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 September 2021

Reviving Dead Zones

Reviving Dead Zones

(p.154) 10 Reviving Dead Zones
Dead Zones

David L. Kirchman

Oxford University Press

Oxygen has returned to some dead zones, but many problems remain. As this chapter explains, nutrient input from agriculture in some regions has decreased because farmers use buffer zones, cover crops, and precision agriculture. But voluntary efforts to minimize nutrient pollution aren’t enough. In Iowa, the Des Moines Water Works, led by a charismatic CEO, Bill Stowe, unsuccessfully sued to reduce nitrate leaching from local farms. The value of government action has been demonstrated in Denmark, whereas its absence has led to many environmental problems in China. The chapter argues that one solution is tied to human health and climate change: our diet. Eating less, especially eating less red meat, would be better for our health, and it would reduce nutrient pollution and abate climate change. Agriculture accounts for nearly a third of all greenhouse gas emissions. The chapter ends by suggesting that the successful bans against DDT and phosphorus detergents are among the reasons to be optimistic about solving the dead-zone problem.

Keywords:   nitrogen pollution, agribusinesses, biofuels, agricultural subsidies, buffer zones, cover crops, obesity

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