Sunday, July 29, 2012

The World's Oceans are plasticised

According to a recent expedition of environmentalists, the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" extends even further than previously known. The expedition sailed from the Marshall Islands to Japan through a synthetic soup of plastic in the North Pacific Ocean . The area is part of one of the ocean's five tropical gyres, regions where bodies of water converge, with currents delivering high concentrations of plastic debris. Aim of this expedition is to look for plastic pollution and study its effect on marine life. 


Besides documenting the existence of plastic pollution, the expedition intends to study how long it takes for communities of barnacles, crabs and molluscs to establish, whether the plastic can serve as a raft for  species  to cross continents, and the prevalence of chemical pollutants. Scientists are worried that the marine organisms that adapt to the plastic could displace existing species. 

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