FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Lies You’ve Been Told About the Pacific Garbage Patch

You’ve probably heard of the “Pacific garbage patch,” also called the “trash vortex.” It’s a region of the North Pacific ocean where the northern jet stream and the southern trade winds, moving opposite directions, create a vast, gently circling region of water called the North Pacific Gyre — and at its center, there are tons of plastic garbage. You may even have seen this picture of the garbage patch, above — right? Wrong.

That image, widely mislabeled as a shot of the Pacific garbage patch, is actually from Manila harbor. And it’s just one of many misconceptions the public has about what’s really happening to plastics in the ocean. We talked with Scripps Institution marine biologist Miriam Goldstein, who has just completed a study of how plastic is changing the ecosystem in the North Pacific Gyre, about myths and realities of the Pacific garbage patch.

MYTH: There is a giant island of solid garbage floating in the Pacific.
FACT: There are millions of small and microscopic pieces of plastic, about .4 pieces per cubic meter, floating over a roughly 5000 square km area of the Pacific. This amount has increased significantly over the past 40 years.

MYTH: All this plastic is killing animals.
FACT: Some animals are being harmed, but others are thriving. Here’s why that could be a problem.


MYTH: The plastisphere is killing the ocean.
FACT: The plastisphere is an ecosystem out of balance.

Link

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: