Greater meat consumption and demand for fossil fuels worldwide are expected to cause increasingly more harmful algal blooms and dead zones in coastal and freshwater areas.
“Nutrient pollution in aquatic ecosystems, or eutrophication, is a rapidly growing environmental crisis,” said Mindy Selman, the lead author of a new report released today by the World Resources Institute (WRI). “Nearly 500 coastal areas already suffer from hypoxia. Our research indicates that number is expected to rise in the foreseeable future.”
Eutrophication: Sources and Drivers of Nutrient Pollution, the second report of a three-part series, finds that developing countries will see more nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in coastal and freshwater areas in the coming decades as a result of population and economic growth.