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.

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

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

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Technology

Just In