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"Located in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii and measuring in at roughly twice the size of Texas, this elusive mass is home to hundreds of species of marine life and is constantly expanding. It has tripled in size since the middle of the 1990s and could grow tenfold in the next decade.
Although no official title has been given to the mass yet, a popular label thus far has been "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch."
As suggested by the name, the island is almost entirely comprises human-made trash. It currently weighs approximately 3.5 million tons with a concentration of 3.34 million pieces of garbage per square kilometer, 80 per cent of which is plastic.
Due to the Patch's location in the North Pacific Gyre, its growth is guaranteed to continue as this Africa-sized section of ocean spins in a vortex that effectively traps flotsam."
"While the trash is in the ocean, it is doing what could be irreparable harm to sea life, the water it's in, and eventually humans.
Plastic resists biodegrading. Instead, a plastic shopping bag or pop bottle will photo-degrade over time, meaning that it will break down into smaller and smaller pieces but retain its original molecular composition.
The result is a great amount of fine plastic sand that resembles food to many creatures.
Unfortunately, the plastic cannot be digested, so sea birds or fish can eventually starve to death with a stomach full of plastic.
Even if the amount of plastic in a creature's body is not enough to block the passage of food, the small pellets act as sponges for several toxins, concentrating chemicals such as DDT to 1 million times the normal level.
This concentration then works its way up the food chain until a fish is served at our dinner table."
Originally posted by Thousand
reply to post by logicize
Well the thing is, that google earth and google maps are made entirely out of satellite imagery from third party corporations, and that only areas of real interest are ever photographed in much detail. This is fine for most of the 1st world, but there is a huge amount of the planet that isn't mapped in any kind of decent resolution, my home town being one. That's why you'll most likely not see anything out in the ocean where the trash is on either of these services - nobody has bothered to aim a decent camera at it.
For several years ocean researcher Charles Moore has been investigating a concentration of floating plastic debris in the North Pacific Gyre. He has reported concentrations of plastics on the order of 3,340,000 pieces/km² with a mean mass of 5.1kg/km² collected using a manta trawl with a rectangular opening of 0.9x0.15m² at the surface. Trawls at depths of 10m found less than half, consisting primarily of monofilament line fouled with diatoms and other plankton.
Some sources have incorrectly reported that there is a "floating continent" of debris that is roughly twice the size of Texas, however no scientific investigation, including Moore's, has verified this.
Originally posted by Silcone Synapse
It will get worse until we find an alternative to plastic,and even then the plastic that is already in the sea will not go away.