Scientists study “the waste funnel” in the Pacific

07 Jan

waste, funnelOn Tuesday in San Francisco, will come the second research vessel “Kais”. Persons on board scientists plan to conduct a series of experiments to understand whether it is possible to effectively clean up the ocean of plastic. Two days ago, a “trash island” came a ship with a group of researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Two ships with scientists on board are sent to the accumulation of debris in the center of the Pacific Ocean in order to assess the extent of water pollution by plastic and the degree of threat to marine life.
The huge accumulation of garbage in the middle of the Pacific Ocean represents a threat to living organisms, but scientists say accurately assess the impact of pollution is not yet possible.

Drops into the ocean trash – mainly plastic – is twisted in a clockwise direction, stretching for hundreds of kilometers, roughly midway between Japan and the western coast of the United States.

The first of the “funnel junk” talking fishermen.

Much of the debris – small particles of plastic. On board the ships they are invisible, as in fact the case of plastic suspended from the ocean surface. For this reason, contamination can not be detected from the air or from satellites.

Until now, the extent of the disaster we know little. According to some reports, the zone of contamination may be comparable with the area of the state of Texas. In addition, when the Pacific occurs during El NiƱo, “the island” has shifted to a half thousand kilometers.

“New Horizon”

On Sunday, a “trash island” off the ship “New Horizon” with a group of researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Researchers interested in how “garbage funnel” effect on the lives of plankton, small fish and birds. “The interest is that of the impact of micro-particles of plastic on the living world, located in the very beginning of the food chain”, – told Reuters news agency deputy director of the Institute Skippsa Bob Knox.

Scientists say that similar “holes” exist in the Atlantic and Indian oceans.

It is estimated that in the Pacific can funnel is about 100 million tons of plastic, 80% of which falls into the ocean from the shore.

Every year the world produced 60 billion tons of plastic, only 5% of which falls on recycling.

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Posted by on January 7, 2010 in Ocean


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