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World Bank, World Development Indicators database, accessed in October 2011; NASA Earth Observatory, data acquired in 2008
Uploaded on Wednesday 09 Oct 2013
Dead zones and fertilizers
The production and use of reactive nitrogen based artificial fertilizers has had huge global benefits providing food for billions through the green revolution. The down side of the increased availability of cheap manufactured nitrogen fertilizer products has been global environment problems associated with excess nutrients, specifically the problems of eutrophication,
coastal hypoxic zones and nitrate contaminated groundwater. Tracing the formation of eutrophic and hypoxic zones across the world shows a close correlation to the growth of agricultural
regions, cities and coastal development (figure above); as of 2011, UNEP had identified over 500 areas of hypoxia globally (UNEP, 2011).