HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Plastic trash in oceans '...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:18 PM

Plastic trash in oceans 'vastly' underestimated

An oceanographer who noticed a disappearing act in which the surface of the ocean went from confetti-covered to clear now suggests wind may driving large amounts of trash deeper into the sea.

Oceanographer Giora Proskurowski was sailing in the Pacific Ocean when he saw the small bits of plastic debris disappear beneath the water as soon as the wind picked up.

His research on the theory, with Tobias Kukulka of the University of Delaware, suggests that on average, plastic debris in the ocean may be 2.5 times higher than estimates using surface-water sampling. In high winds, the volume of plastic trash could be underestimated by a factor of 27, the researchers report this month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Plastic waste can wreak havoc on an ecosystem, harming fish and other organisms that ingest it, possibly even degrading a fish's liver; the trashy bits also make nice homes for bacteria and algae that get carried to other areas of the ocean where they could be invasive or cause other problems, the researchers noted

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47206045/ns/technology_and_science-science/

10 replies, 1246 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Plastic trash in oceans 'vastly' underestimated (Original post)
joeybee12 Apr 2012 OP
Kalidurga Apr 2012 #1
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #2
Gregorian Apr 2012 #3
postulater Apr 2012 #4
Blue_Tires Apr 2012 #5
Uncle Joe Apr 2012 #6
CaliforniaPeggy Apr 2012 #7
Fla Dem Apr 2012 #8
Politicalboi Apr 2012 #9
MineralMan Apr 2012 #10

Response to joeybee12 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:22 PM

1. I just mentioned this to my daughter the other day...

I said that one day aliens would come here and find no humans and they would discover we were killed off by having too much plastic in our environment.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to joeybee12 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:24 PM

2. K&R. This matters. n/t

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to joeybee12 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:02 PM

3. Human population problem vastly under-discussed.

That's where the plastic came from. That's where the CO2 emissions come from.

For 100 years the oceans have been dumping grounds. Barges departing every day in just New York alone must have been a large contributor.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to joeybee12 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:21 PM

4. The bits get ground smaller and smaller. Then they get ingested.

We're killing the oceans.

We're killing us.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to joeybee12 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:22 PM

5. National Geographic did a piece on this iirc

there is a huge island of junk in the pacific where most of this stuff usually accumulates

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to joeybee12 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:22 PM

6. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, joeybee.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to joeybee12 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:31 PM

7. And what are we doing about it, besides talk?

Why isn't some clever entrepreneur creating a machine that will strain the stuff out of the water? I mean, I realize this is a huge problem. But we have to start somewhere.

Damn.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to joeybee12 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:40 PM

8. Just goggle "trash in ocean pictures". Prepare to be disgusted and saddened. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to joeybee12 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:53 PM

9. About 15 years ago

I went whale watching on a charter boat. I ended up getting sea sick, but before that, I was on deck and couldn't believe they allowed people with food on deck. I saw people with chip bags that blew out of their hands into the water. Other kinds of trash just blowing into the water. It was disgusting. And it didn't seem to bother those that lost their trash either. You would think that those who pay to watch whales, would be pollution conscience. The seagulls on the other hand were plenty, looking for scraps for the worlds biggest polluters.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Politicalboi (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:59 PM

10. It's not just in the ocean, either.

I'm an avid angler, and I fish out at least 100 lb of trash floating on the lakes and rivers I fish every year. I net it up when I'm in my boat, stow it in a plastic garbage bag, and put it the trash cans when I get back to the dock. What I can't figure out is that people seem to love going to the lake or the river, and then they throw trash in it. It's completely nonsensical and illogical.

People are way stupid.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread