New scale developed to better mark Lake Erie algae levels

By Jennifer Pilgrim,

This summer's algae outbreak levels are expected to be a 5 or 6 on a new 1-10 scale developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Algae blooms most often during the summer, and the yearly outbreaks have become more frequent each time. Scientists hope that with this new ranking system, understanding the levels of algae within Lake Erie will be more straightforward.

The NOAA predicts that this summer will bring significant amounts of the toxic algae towards the western basin of Lake Erie, but does not appear to be of the same level as last year, or as large as the record-setting 2011 levels.

The lake is believed to be about as warm as it was last summer, said Tom Bridgeman, an algae researcher at the University of Toledo's Lake Erie Center in a statement to SF Gate.

An official report from the NOAA outlines the impact the algae levels will have on the lake, and what research is being done to evaluate and correct the levels in future years. It is hoped that this new, more straightforward scale will allow researchers to better understand trends and patterns that arise each year with the algae growth.

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