Discarded plastic waste that makes its way into our oceans, may be worse than we originally thought. The plastic waste is being blown further out to sea by prevailing wind, where the plastic is sinking under the surface leaving the ocean to appear ‘clean’. This affect is like sweeping the mess under the carpet when it comes to a cleaner ocean.
Plastics cause major issues for the inhabitants of the ocean and is responsible for the deaths of many sea creatures once they become entangled in its deadly noose!
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.
Source: Huffington Post