UNH researchers find high levels of nitrate in Puerto Rico streams after storms

Aquatic sensors are used in streams like this one, Quebrada Sonadora, which is one of the study sites in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico, where researchers monitored nitrate levels before and after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

A report by Katie Camero for The Boston Globe.

Many people suffered from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. But scientists, in a new study, say they’ve uncovered a worrisome impact on the environment, too.

University of New Hampshire researchers have measured unusually high levels of nitrate in the island territory’s streams.

The theory is that stronger and more frequent storms caused by climate change have knocked down vegetation, and the resulting decomposition elevated nitrate levels in the soil. Storms are then washing the nitrate into the streams, researchers said in a statement from the university.

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