By Matt Reese
Last year I hopped on the boat and made the trek to the fantastic Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie for the announcement about the predictions regarding the 2018 algal bloom.
The boat ride was quite pleasant, the presentations at the event were very sciencey and impressive, the folks doing the research being presented were extremely intelligent — and the forecast was totally wrong.
In July of 2018, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its research partners predicted western Lake Erie would experience a harmful algal bloom (HAB) of cyanobacteria of a 6 on the severity index, with a range between 5 and 7.5. In late fall, NOAA reported back that the actual harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie for 2018 had a severity index of 3.6, indicating a relatively mild bloom far short of the predicted severity.
Now, I don’t know what the total budget is for this forecasting system, but I would guess it is not a small price tag over the years of developing models, conducting extensive research, paying numerous staff members and researchers at various agencies and entities, and hauling curious farm reporters to the island on boats.… Continue readingRead More »