Plastic in the World’s Oceans–Recent Research

“At least 88 percent of the surface of the world’s open oceans is polluted by plastic debris, says a new scientific report. The findings raise large concerns of the safety of marine life and how this ocean litter may affect food chains.

“High concentrations of floating plastic debris have been reported in remote areas of the ocean, increasing concern about the accumulation of plastic litter on the ocean surface. Since the introduction of plastic materials in the 1950s, the global production of plastic has increased rapidly and will continue in the coming decades. However, the abundance and the distribution of plastic debris in the open ocean are still unknown, despite evidence of affects on organisms ranging from small invertebrates to whales. In this work, we synthetize data collected across the world to provide a global map and a first-order approximation of the magnitude of the plastic pollution in surface waters of the open ocean.

“Those little pieces of plastic, known as microplastics, can last hundreds of years and were detected in 88 percent of the ocean surface sampled during the Malaspina Expedition 2010,” lead researcher and the author of the study Andres Cozar from the University of Cadiz, told AFP.”

“The results of the study “Plastic debris in the open ocean” are based on 3,070 total ocean samples collected around the world by Spain’s Malaspina science expedition in 2010. They have been recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).”

“Ocean currents carry plastic objects which split into smaller and smaller fragments due to solar radiation,” says Cozar. “These micro plastics have an influence on the behavior and the food chain of marine organisms.”

“Cozar added that most of the impacts taking place due to plastic pollution in the oceans “are not yet known.”

Source: rt.com, PNAS

See more on this subject at:  SprinterLife

GR:  Every day the air, the rivers, and the barges carry our garbage out to sea.  Plastic might be the least harmful ingredient.

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