The Plastic Ocean

River

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There's a lot of crap in the ocean. It's not good for marine life. If we don't get it under control, marine life as we know it will morph into something not so bloody useful to us. We're shitting where we eat. Never a good idea.
 

PraXis

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Combine it all into a ball, an shoot it into space. It worked in Futurama!
 

coldsteal2

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i spent over four solid years cruzing the Pacific,
Sea of Japan, South China Sea, Arctic Sea
and Indian Ocean.
Believe me the ocean is very clean
I dont know where they hell you saw all this garbage
i never met a sailor that has ever mentioned seeing it

Bays, and beaches not so clean, but open ocean
very clean

psycho envirionmental hippy bable like global warming i say
 

geochem1st

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A lot of it exists below the waterline as in this pic.... kind of like an iceberg. You may see a small patch on the surface, but if you go below the surface it looks like this:

 

River

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Does anyone really think we can keep up the current rate of population growth with its attendant waste and NOT overwhelm the ecosystem? I don't see how that's possible. There will be a major correction in the world market of living things some day. Not that we'll live to see it. Let future generations worry about it. They won't have to worry, actually, because it'll be too late and they'll just have to take their lumps.

Without monetary investment and/or increased government interference (in waste management, birth control and/or something) the environment will eventually become a very unpleasant one in which to live, at best. That's my perspective.
 

geochem1st

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i spent over four solid years cruzing the Pacific,
Sea of Japan, South China Sea, Arctic Sea
and Indian Ocean.
Believe me the ocean is very clean
I dont know where they hell you saw all this garbage
i never met a sailor that has ever mentioned seeing it

Bays, and beaches not so clean, but open ocean
very clean

psycho envirionmental hippy bable like global warming i say

Even as the debate over the plastic patch’s size continues, some estimates have been reported with scientific certainty. For instance the ratio of plastic to zooplankton by mass was six to one. A more-recent visit turned up an increase in this ratio, to 46 to one. But that is an average of the ratio at each testing site, which included some very high ratios, probably anomalies. A more comparable figure is eight to one, representing a more modest increase when results are aggregated across all testing sites.

Coldsteal its real.

From 1988 - 1992 I was involved in oceanographic research for the US Dept of Energy, Oceanographic and Atmospheric Sciences Dept. at Brookhaven National Laboratory. During those years we were involved with a global project known as the World Ocean Circulation Experiment or WOCE (you can look it up). It was the FIRST time a global investigation of the worlds oceans currents, chemical analysis, geophysics, a marine biology investigations, took place to gain a snap shot of the conditions of the worlds oceans. The results weren't pretty.

This was before any hysteria about Climate Change or pollution concerns on a grand scale. It was basic research to gather a baseline for the global oceans.

Yes there are some pristine areas, but they are few and far between. Ask yourself. How long have tankers been washing and rinsing their holds with sea water and discharging them to the oceans? What has been the protocol for oceanic ships to dispose of their garbage? When the landfills started to close in the late 80's, where did all the landfill garbage go?

All of it started to get dumped in the oceans, and in third world countries the practice was just a given.

We found some interesting facts about ocean circulation in the verticle segment. It is very slow. We sampled bottom waters that had not seen the surface for over 250 years. Which means that whatever junk is discharged on the surface concentrates there. That is the zone we live in, and most marine life lives in that we eat.

Hippy BS? No scientific fact.
 

coldsteal2

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So you were looking for Garbage, we were looking for subs
 

geochem1st

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So you were looking for Garbage, we were looking for subs

We weren't looking for garbage. We were trying to get baseline data on the earths oceans, temperature, conductivity, depths, nutrients, dissolved O2, CO2, chemistry and biologics. What we found was garbage... and worse.

EDIT:

I will admit that I even contributed to some. In the Arctic Ocean off of the Northeast coast of Greenland, I was involved with a CTD deployment on deck when an HH-65 helo came around to land on the pad in the stern. The blade wash blew my hardhat (my favorite one, with stickers from all the ships and cruises I had been on) right over the side and out to sea. Some polar bear is probably wearing it now.

On another cruise I was so frustrated with a computer monitor that failed on me during a critical time that I ripped it out of the rack and threw it overboard..... they float for a long time.
 

mobprop667

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well, i think that garbage and a soviet sub loaded with ss-18s are pretty much tied for planet killing potential.
 

blakem

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:( so scary.... man what are we gonna do.. the cycle is so huge...
 

geochem1st

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:( so scary.... man what are we gonna do.. the cycle is so huge...

It's not just the Pacific gyre, although that one is the largest, every gyre in all the globes oceans is collecting our garbage.
 

LongBeach

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Well, if its all accumulating in a giant whirlpool, wouldn't that
make it easier to get it out? Meaning, it's all in one place, I'm sure
the churning water would make it difficult?
 

TOMMYTHUNDERS

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Well, if its all accumulating in a giant whirlpool, wouldn't that
make it easier to get it out? Meaning, it's all in one place, I'm sure
the churning water would make it difficult?
dude, how does one go about removing decades of trash? the mass of garbage is ridiculous in size and scale. and then where do you put it?
 

geochem1st

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dude, how does one go about removing decades of trash? the mass of garbage is ridiculous in size and scale. and then where do you put it?

True. Thats how it got there in the first place. Where do you put it?
 

05jrock

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A lot of it exists below the waterline as in this pic.... kind of like an iceberg. You may see a small patch on the surface, but if you go below the surface it looks like this:

That is seriously sickening seeing that.
 

River

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Around here many of the ranchers have HUGE piles of used bailing twine that look like that, and they don't know what to do with it - I'm talking tons of the shit, and it's very light. It's polypropylene, I believe, and probably has a half-life of about 100 years, even when exposed to the elements at 8,000 feet (I could be wrong there, though).

Some animals make good use of it, as pictured below. I doubt the fish and whales can figure anything good to do with it, though.

 


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