Picture of the Day: Toxic Algae Blooms in Lake Erie

lakeerie_tm5_2011278.jpg

The Landsat-5 satellite captured this image of toxic algae growing off the coast of Ontario in early October. This year's algae bloom has been the worst in decades, likely the result of a rainy spring and two species of invasive mussels. The algae, Microcystis aeruginosa, can cause skin irritation to humans and can be fatal to dogs. If ingested, it can cause a flu-like sickness. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that over the summer, the concentrations of the algae were 50 times greater than what the World Health Organization advises for safe recreation. Though the algae is not toxic to fish, dead algae uses oxygen in the water to decay, and as a result, areas with a lot of dead algae can become "dead zones" in which there is not enough oxygen for fish to survive.

Image: Earth Observatory/NASA.
Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Technology

Just In