Pacific Voyage Sets Sail to Study Vast "Plastic Island&

Moderator: Super Moderators

Post Reply
Shirleypal
Pirate
Posts: 45448
Joined: 03-06-2003 03:00 AM

Pacific Voyage Sets Sail to Study Vast "Plastic Island&

Post by Shirleypal » 08-05-2009 10:45 AM

August 04, 2009

The second of two research ships bound for a huge "island" of plastic debris larger than the State of Texas leaves San Francisco today. The expedition, named Project Kaisei, will study the impact of the waste on marine life. The goal of the organisers will be to clear the plastic and recycle it for use as fuel and new products. The two ships, Kaisei - which left today - and New Horizon from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography - which left on 2 August - will take five days to reach the debris.

Ryan Yerkey the project's chief of operations has sailed across the Pacific twice and has watched the problem build up since the 1980s. He blames our increased use of disposable products. He told BBC News: "You are talking about quite a bit of marine debris but it's not a solid mass. A lot of the items have broken down. Of course there are larger items out there. But the items, depending on the density and the state they're in, can be anything from the surface down to 20ft to 30ft (6m to 9m) deep."

Plastics are a major source of the problem. The average consumer in an industrialized country uses 250 pounds every year. Plastic from around the world, including billions of plastic pellets representing its initial form, gets into the ocean from multiple entry points—rivers, sewage, ship spills, liter, runoff, etc. The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that currently 46,000 pieces of plastic are floating on every square mile of the ocean.

The problem in the Pacific is so severe a humongous plastic-strewn patch floats between California and Hawaii within the North Pacific Gyre. According to the man who first discovered it in 1997, Captain John Moore, this patch is 1 ½ times the size of the contiguous United States and goes to a depth of at least 100 feet. And there is another huge rubbish patch off the coast of Japan. (View a YouTube video of Captain Moore visiting the Pacific garbage patch )

The Algalita Marine Research Foundation, founded by Moore, reports pieces of plastic outweigh surface zooplanton by 6 to 1 in the central North Pacific Gyre. According to their report, “Ninety percent of Laysan albatross chick carcasses and regurgitated stomach content contains plastic. Fish and seabirds mistake plastic for food. Plastic debris release chemical additives and plasticizers into the ocean. Plastic also absorbs hyrophobit pollutants like PCBs and pesticides like DDT. These pollutants bioaccumulte in the tissues of marine organisms, biomagnify up the food chain, and find their way into the foods people eat.”

Worldwide, eating pellets or other pieces of plastic kills more than a million birds each year along with hundreds of thousands of other fish and wildlife.

New calculations made by marine chemists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute suggest that low-oxygen "dead zones" in the ocean could expand significantly over the next century. Marine animals will need more oxygen to survive as more carbon dioxide created by burning fossil fuels dissolves from the atmosphere into the ocean, causing seawater to become gradually more acidic.

Researchers Peter Brewer and Edward Peltzer show that increases in carbon dioxide can make marine animals more susceptible to low concentrations of oxygen, and thus exacerbate the effects of low-oxygen "dead zones" in the ocean. Their calculations also show that the partial pressure of dissolved carbon dioxide gas (pCO2) in low-oxygen zones will rise much higher than previously thought. This could have significant consequences for marine life in these zones, making it harder for these animals to find food, avoid predators, and reproduce. Low concentrations of oxygen can have similar effects.

In trying to quantify the impacts of this "double whammy" on marine organisms, Brewer and Peltzer came up with the concept of a "respiration index." This index is based on the ratio of oxygen and carbon dioxide gas in a given sample of seawater. The lower the respiration index, the harder it is for marine animals to respire.

In the past, marine biologists have defined "dead zones" based solely on low concentrations of dissolved oxygen. Brewer and Peltzer hope that their respiration index will provide a more precise and quantitative way for oceanographers to identify such areas. Tracking changes in the respiration index could also help marine biologists understand and predict which ocean waters are at risk of becoming dead zones in the future.

Previous studies have indicated that such oxygen minimum zones may expand over the next century. Brewer and Peltzer's research suggests that the effects of this expansion will be even more severe than previously forecast.

The number of oxygen-starved "dead" zones is growing in oceans around the globe. The situation is so bad many regions can now barely sustain marine life. In addition to Brewer and Peltzer's studies, other scientists say huge amounts of nitrogen-containing nutrients from farm fertilizers get most of the blame.

Since the 1960s, the number of dead zones worldwide has doubled every decade. Researchers say there are now about 400 of them. All together, they cover an area about the size of the state of Oregon. Although this is small compared to the total surface area of the oceans, it's big enough to damage marine ecology and hurt commercial fishing and shellfishing.

Huge amounts of pollution from industry and runoff from cities get dumped into coastal waters. This triggers a chain reaction that robs water of oxygen and makes it harder for living things to survive.

The pollutants provide nutrients that feed the growth of algae. As the algae dies and decays, bacteria levels increase. The bacteria gobble up much of the ocean's oxygen. This kills fish and other marine organisms. It also hurts people that depend on these resources for food or to make a living.

The Gulf of Mexico has one of the biggest dead zones. The lifeless zone stretches from the mouth of the Mississippi River to the Texas border. It now covers an area of nearly 8,000 square miles (20,000 square km). Other dead zones have appeared in the Chesapeake Bay, the Pacific Northwest, and off the coast of South Carolina.

Dead zones have appeared off the coasts of South America, Britain, China, Norway, Japan, Portugal, Ghana, Australia, and New Zealand in recent years. The dead zones tend to get worse in the summer months. But over a period of several years, they can wipe out species from the zone permanently.

Posted by Casey Kazan with David Bunnell.

Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8184397.stm

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/20 ... video.html

Escargot
Pirate
Posts: 259
Joined: 04-30-2004 01:13 PM

Post by Escargot » 08-05-2009 10:11 PM

This is deeply troubling. My guess is that since it isn't 'one' somebody's mess, that nobody in particular can be said to be at fault, so no one is going to clean it up.
It reminds me of children, pointing their fingers at each other and saying 'they did it' and the mess doesn't get cleaned up.
Of course the cost would be too great for some countries, but who introduced plastic products to the world?

Where the hello! are the world environmentalists?! When there is an oil spill, it gets cleaned up. Someone has been keeping this from the public for a long time. I'd bet money that if someone offered money for loads of this crap brought in, then it might get cleaned up.

Maybe someone could find some more invisible money to set up an agency to get it done.

Shirleypal
Pirate
Posts: 45448
Joined: 03-06-2003 03:00 AM

Post by Shirleypal » 08-05-2009 10:30 PM

Escargot this is no secret, I have posted about this numerous times over the years, there have been specials on the Decovery and Science channels on TV from time to time, if you want to put blame I woud say it is the U.S. for the most part, in Europe there are no plastic bags in stores in most countries. We are a very wasteful country, blame business also, if they didn't offer plastic people would use an alternative to carry products home, like I do with my 20 some cloth bags that I have been using since the late eighties..

Escargot
Pirate
Posts: 259
Joined: 04-30-2004 01:13 PM

Post by Escargot » 08-06-2009 12:10 PM

Shirleypal I don't remember hearing about it or seeing another thread, but there are slow brain times when I don't read all the thread entries.
Yesterday I checked some websites to see if anything is being done and came up with a couple, but didn't write them down to reference later though. Some of the videos that have been done on this mess shows that the trash 'is' from other countries. One video has a guy showing the trash up close and saying that it looks like Korean or Chinese writing on the labeling. When I have a lower pain, sharper brain day, I'll try to do more internet research.
I just can't understand why nothing has been done :confused: Did Al Gore mention this in his global warming movie?
One has to more than just suppose, perhaps assume, this could be causing the ocean conveyor belt to falter and change weather. Also causing sea life to die, like beached sea animals and maybe even causing or contributing to dead zones (per article).
Last edited by Escargot on 08-06-2009 12:23 PM, edited 1 time in total.

Shirleypal
Pirate
Posts: 45448
Joined: 03-06-2003 03:00 AM

Post by Shirleypal » 08-06-2009 12:19 PM

Check out this thread from January 2008

showthread.php?s=&threadid=32338

Escargot
Pirate
Posts: 259
Joined: 04-30-2004 01:13 PM

Post by Escargot » 08-06-2009 12:43 PM

Shirleypal do you have any ideas for cleanup? You must have done more research since you first posted about this? Have you figured out who or why nothing is being done?
This waste has been around for years and many people know about it and look away. And I'm talking about people who 'could' do something about it.
Those Spooky mask wearing, livin' the good life politicians who give money out like 'party favors' to friends 'in need', but for animals, peons and the planet - well all that can go to He*l or at least wait until the waste backs up on to their front door!
This is my first blush assessment.
What have you determined?

Shirleypal
Pirate
Posts: 45448
Joined: 03-06-2003 03:00 AM

Post by Shirleypal » 08-06-2009 12:58 PM

As an individuals the thing we can do is contact our Representatives and I have done that many times, guess we have to keep doing it, it helps by not using plastic if you can avoid it, I have noticed that more people are using their own bags when shopping and the grocery stores are providing or selling reusable bags now..still wish they would stop providing plastic bags to their customers. It is a sad dilemma. I do know it is killing fish in our oceans.:mad:

Shirleypal
Pirate
Posts: 45448
Joined: 03-06-2003 03:00 AM

Post by Shirleypal » 08-28-2009 12:46 PM

Scientists find 'great Pacific Ocean garbage patch'

Scientists have just completed an unprecedented journey into the vast and little-explored "Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch."

On the Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition (SEAPLEX), researchers got the first detailed view of plastic debris floating in a remote ocean region.

It wasn't a pretty sight.

The Scripps research vessel (R/V) New Horizon left its San Diego homeport on August 2, 2009, for the North Pacific Ocean Gyre, located some 1,000 miles off California's coast, and returned on August 21, 2009.

Scientists surveyed plastic distribution and abundance, taking samples for analysis in the lab and assessing the impacts of debris on marine life.
http://www.physorg.com/news170609243.html

User avatar
Malaria_Kidd II
Pirate
Posts: 1471
Joined: 11-26-2015 03:51 PM
Location: SW IN
Contact:

Re: Pacific Voyage Sets Sail to Study Vast "Plastic Island&

Post by Malaria_Kidd II » 05-31-2016 03:10 AM

Although there maybe many ocean "Garbage Patch" entries in Environment in Crisis. Shirleypal's entry was the first one I found to post this related news inside in her honor. :idea:

From Twitter this AM we can find the world wide map of our ocean's very sad to view "garbage patches". The Baltic Sea has one too that is not shown.

Some members have read my idea on a collective "thing to do" about the numerous garbage patches. But if it's like the huge elevated fire nozzle spraying it's massive stream of water downward on a huge fire my idea might only be a "PR thing" also. :oops:

If anyone wants my old idea I've Tweeted and posted inside a few UK forum's dust clouds. Just drop me an inquiry and an FF e-mail of action here will have me back in a jiffy! :wink:

Edited July 17, 2016: My idea just up above should have been linked here already......... :oops:

http://fantasticforum.com/1res/viewtopi ... 64#p715664

Here's the map.......... :(

http://www.vox.com/2016/5/23/11735856/plastic-ocean utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=post&utm_term=plastic,ocean&utm_campaign=greenpeace&__surl__=IgNMi&__ots__=1464680790287&__step__=1


I doubt in this day and age that the New York City barges, turned into garbage scows, are still dumping trash well out of sight in the Atlantic Ocean. At least we can hope this is the case today! :? That was so stupid to do in any age! :confused:


MK 2 :x
"A gun is like a parachute. If you need one but don't have it, you'll probably never need one again!" :oops: :wink: from 'Gun Shots' on Twitter/ Check out http://malarino.com/ it's 95% Turmeric :!: :mrgreen:

User avatar
Malaria_Kidd II
Pirate
Posts: 1471
Joined: 11-26-2015 03:51 PM
Location: SW IN
Contact:

Re: Pacific Voyage Sets Sail to Study Vast "Plastic Island&

Post by Malaria_Kidd II » 10-09-2016 06:32 AM

Fresh news not so much on MSM!

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch - Plus floating plastic world wide AKA the Atlantic Ocean's GP, the Indian Ocean's GP, the Baltic Sea's GP..... :(

It's a myth they say! :P There is no huge garbage patch to view. :roll:

Never fly an airplane over water to see what's underneath it's surface! :oops:

Though the article does mention that micro plastics are a concern. What about the liberal litter bugs in perpetual motion tossing their stuff outside car windows! :drink: I never litter even a litter* bit! :mrgreen:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016 ... urvey-sho/

MK II :roll:

* "litter" instead of "little" :wink:
"A gun is like a parachute. If you need one but don't have it, you'll probably never need one again!" :oops: :wink: from 'Gun Shots' on Twitter/ Check out http://malarino.com/ it's 95% Turmeric :!: :mrgreen:

User avatar
Malaria_Kidd II
Pirate
Posts: 1471
Joined: 11-26-2015 03:51 PM
Location: SW IN
Contact:

Re: Pacific Voyage Sets Sail to Study Vast "Plastic Island&

Post by Malaria_Kidd II » 03-23-2018 11:25 AM

Oh?

USA Today! The Pacific garbage patch is now twice as big as Texas! :(


https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sci ... 446405002/


MK II
"A gun is like a parachute. If you need one but don't have it, you'll probably never need one again!" :oops: :wink: from 'Gun Shots' on Twitter/ Check out http://malarino.com/ it's 95% Turmeric :!: :mrgreen:

Post Reply

Return to “Environment in Crisis”