The Economics of Dead Zones: Linking Externalities from the Land to their Consequences in the Sea, October 2012,

(2012) The Economics of Dead Zones: Linking Externalities from the Land to their Consequences in the Sea, October 2012,. Iowa State University

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Abstract

The purpose of this review and analysis is to provide a basic understanding of the issues related to worldwide hypoxic zones and the range of economic questions sorely in need of answers. We begin by describing the causes and extent of hypoxic zones worldwide, followed by a review of the evidence concerning ecological effects of the condition and impacts on ecosystem services. We describe what is known about abatement options and cost effective policy design before turning to an analysis of the large, seasonally recurring hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. We advance the understanding of this major ecological issue by estimating the relationship between pollutants (nutrients) and the areal extent of the hypoxic zone. This “production function” relationship suggests that both instantaneous and legacy contributions of nutrients contribute to annual predictions of the size of the zone, highlighting concerns that ecologists have raised about lags in the recovery of the system and affirms the importance of multiple nutrients as target pollutants. We conclude with a discussion of critical research needs to provide input to policy formation.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: hypoxia, eutrophication, Gulf of Mexico, non-point source pollution, water quality
Subjects: Natural resources and environment > Water resources
Natural resources and environment
Natural resources and environment > Environmental assessments
Natural resources and environment > Water resources > Water quality
ID Code: 13798
Deposited By: Rebecca Olson
Deposited On: 08 Nov 2012 16:33
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2012 16:43
URI: http://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/13798

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