About this time every year the predictions for the size of the Gulf of Mexico dead zone are made. This year they are predicting a record large dead zone. And just like last year they blamed what was predicted to be a record large dead zone on ethanol.
This year's dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to be the largest on record and growing U.S. corn production is a primary cause of the worsening conditions, federal and state scientists said Tuesday. (Source)
This year they are predicting the dead zone to equal 8,800 square miles which is larger than the record of 8,500 square miles recorded in 2002.
Last year the experts were predicting that the dead zone would measure 8,543 square miles, a new record and claimed that it would reach this new record because of increased ethanol production. They were wrong it ended up measuring 7,900 square miles.
So the record was set in 2002 when ethanol production totaled 2.13 billion gallons. Last year when 6.5 billion gallons of ethanol were produced the predicted record sized dead zone failed to appear.
But one good prediction deserves another and I am predicting that if this year's dead zone isn't a record there won't be any media coverage to speak of telling us all that the prediction was wrong. Instead everyone will be left with the impression that the dead zone just keeps growing and that it is all because of ethanol.