Warming Winters Worsen Nutrient Pollution in Water

A study published in Environmental Research Letters by a team of scientists from the University of Vermont, University of Colorado, University of Kansas, and University of Michigan says that as winters warm, chemicals on farms and fields are causing runoff pollution into groundwater, streams, and lakes. The frozen nutrients thaw before plants are growing to absorb them, so they leave the farm, meaning that winter is now one of the worst runoff times. Rain-on-snow events, which are happening more frequently, are particularly bad for water quality. The study indicates that the situation is putting water quality at risk in 40% of the contiguous United States, affecting more than 40 states.