Agency using new scale to grade Lake Erie algae

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Researchers are adding a new wrinkle to how they will forecast the yearly algae outbreaks on Lake Erie.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will use a scale of 1 to 10 to predict and rank the algae that is a growing problem off the northern Ohio shore.

This summer's algae outbreak is expected to be a 5 or 6 on the scale.

A researcher with the federal agency tells The Blade (http://bit.ly/1oNf1RU ) newspaper in Toledo that a ranking system similar to the Richter scale used for earthquakes may help people better understand the algae forecasts.

Algae blooms on Lake Erie during recent years have been blamed for contributing to dead zones in the lake where fish can't survive and forcing cities to spend more money to treat drinking water.

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Information from: The Blade, http://www.toledoblade.com/

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