White Paper Released to Help Improve Hypoxia Forecast Models

A NOAA and Northern Gulf Institute forum and workshop produce useful resources to achieve the goal of reducing the hypoxic zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  The Gulf of Mexico's increasingly severe dead zone is one of the world's largest, and the biggest one that affects a U.S. fishery.

In order to increase the focus and mitigate the problem, NOAA and NGI put together the Modeling Technical Review Panel of experts who recently released a technical white paper titled, Modeling Approaches for Scenario Forecasts of Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia. The review paper is a product produced as a result of the partnership's Forum for Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Research Coordination and Advancement and the 5th Annual NOAA/NGI Gulf Hypoxia Research Coordination Workshop held last summer. The forum and workshop provided hypoxia stakeholders an opportunity to assess the state of scenario forecast models targeting hypoxic zone dynamics in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

"Sciences' top minds shared hypoxia monitoring and modeling output data and Gulf hypoxic zone research to help inform and refine management plans and forecast models," Steve Ashby, co-director of NGI, said. "The Gulf Hypoxic Zone Modeling Technical Review Panel assessed the modeling and management methods to mitigate hypoxia to create best practices that inter-agencies like the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance can implement into effective control and eradication strategies."

Hypoxia in aquatic systems is a global issue. It is a low oxygen condition-below 2 mg/L-created when nutrients from farm fertilizer and manure mixed with sewage and runoff from suburban lawns, flow down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. It is here that this potent blend feeds algae that bloom, die and decompose, robbing the Gulf's waters of oxygen and creating a dead zone each summer. It forms in the late spring and summer and typically covers around 6,000 square miles, and in some, around 8,000 square miles - roughly the size of New Jersey.

These scenario forecast models provide decision makers with the ability to examine the effect of multiple management scenarios on resources of concern for hypoxia. This often involves the ability to examine the relative influences of climatological (winds, currents, salinity) and land-based (nutrients and freshwater inputs) factors on the formation and maintenance of coastal hypoxia. As discussed by those at the 2013 forum, models were assessed based on their ability to address key management questions, their infrastructure, observational and remaining research needs and their state of development.

For more information on the forum and workshop or to download and view the white paper, please click on the underlined links above.

Current Reports

The Northern Gulf Institute's Progress Report includes research accomplishments and findings for multiple ongoing projects. The total funding equates to over $10M. The research ventures feature topics like expansion of ocean observations. The NGI Annual Report tells the stories of the scientists' research accomplishments highlighted in the Progress Report, and explains in detail why this research is important and relevant. Previous reports are also available.

2014 Progress Report

2014 Annual Report


White Paper Released to Help Improve Hypoxia Forecast Models
January 9, 2015 - A NOAA and Northern Gulf Institute forum and workshop produce useful resources to achieve the goal of reducing the hypoxic zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  ...

Study Finds Three Ways Oill Spill Impacts Gulf Seaweed
January 6, 2015 - Mississippi and Alabama scientists investigated oil spill effects on floating Sargassum, a critical seaweed habitat for many important Gulf species.

They ...

Mississippi State's UAS Expertise on Display
December 22, 2014 - The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), a leading industry trade group spent two days in Mississippi recently, and a highlight of ...

NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program Issues Funding Call for Gulf Projects
December 19, 2014 - NOAA has issued a call for proposals under the first federal funding opportunity issued by the NOAA RESTORE ...

NOAA Sea Grant Announcements
December 15, 2014 -

2015 Funding Opportunities
The 2015 NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant Fellowship Federal Funding Opportunities for ...

NGI Led Group to Study Impacts of Oil in Gulf of Mexico

A Northern Gulf Institute consortia member, the University of Southern Mississippi, will use $11 million in funding ...


2015 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference: Call for Abstracts
February 16-19, 2015 - The 2015 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference is soliciting abstracts designed to share the latest research findings and contribute to ...

Marine Sciences Graduate Students Host Graduate Student Symposium
March 13-15, 2015 -

GSS 2015



Dauphin Island Sea Lab, March 13-15

This year's annual Graduate Student Symposium (GSS) will be hosted by ...

2015 GOMA All Hands Meeting
June 16-18, 2015 - Join the Gulf of Mexico Alliance at the IP Casino in Biloxi, MS- June 16-18, 2015.

Early registration will open January 2015. Anticipate a half day ...