EDITOR'S NOTE: This series gives background information on algal blooms, the problems they create and what causes them. Check out the infographic about algal blooms, what causes them, their potential toxic hazards and hot spots around the US.
Has the water in your swimming hole gone green with gunk? What about a red sheen topping the ocean waves? Chances are that you are witnessing a harmful algal bloom (HAB) that tends to pop up in the summer's heat.
Harmful algal blooms are a serious problem in local ponds and in faraway waters. They have spelled "algal doom" by turning drinking water toxic and ravaging aquatic ecosystems. These HABs are a growing threat around the world as human development and conventional agriculture are creating more nutrient pollution. Add to that the high temperatures, heavier rains and more intense droughts expected with climate change, and HAB outbreaks might become even more commonplace--and troublesome.
Get more information on HABs from the infographic below.