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Ocean Trash Vortex Giving Air Franch False Hopes?

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posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 06:04 AM
After reading through this thread here: Debris removed from the Atlantic is not from the airplane of Air France, says Aeronautics

I immediately thought of something many are not talking about. Ocean Trash.

Is Ocean Trash interfering with the Down Air France investigation, possibly giving false hopes?

Here is important information for everyone to digest... This is the largest known Gyre, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Eastern Garbage Patch or the Pacific Trash Vortex, is a gyre of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135° to 155°W and 35° to 42°N estimated to be twice the size of Texas. The patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastic and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre. Despite its size and density, however, the patch is not visible from satellite photography.

TWICE the size of Texas.


Like other areas of concentrated marine debris in the world's oceans, the Eastern Garbage Patch has formed gradually over time as a result of marine pollution gathered by the action of oceanic currents.

The garbage patch occupies a large and relatively stationary region of the North Pacific Ocean bound by the North Pacific Gyre (a remote area commonly referred to as the horse latitudes). The rotational pattern created by the North Pacific Gyre draws in waste material from across the North Pacific Ocean, including the coastal waters off North America and Japan. As material is captured in the currents, wind-driven surface currents gradually move floating debris toward the center, trapping it in the region.

The size of the affected region is unknown, but estimates range from 700,000 km² to more than 15 million km², (0.41% to 8.1% of the size of the Pacific Ocean). The area may contain over 100 million tons of debris. It has also been suggested that the patch may represent two areas of debris that are linked.

Sources of pollutants

It has been estimated that 80% of the garbage comes from land-based sources, and 20% from ships at sea. Currents carry debris from the west coast of North America to the gyre in about five years, and debris from the east coast of Asia in a year or less. An international project led by Dr. Hideshige Takada of Tokyo University studying plastic pellets from beaches around the world may provide further clues about the origins of pelagic plastic, including that of the Pacific garbage patch.

As you can see in the above picture there are other places where trash accumulates and stays in the ocean.

To put this into perspective here is something to visualize:
The average Trash dump is a few acres. Tucked away on the out skirts of any city. Sometimes even in the city itself.
Now take that few acres of trash, dump it into the ocean and let it drift in the currents for awhile. It'll meet up with other trash and form a lovely floating island of non biodegradable mush.
Now take the state of Texas, dump it into the ocean and let it float around turning into mush... That is how much trash we are talking about. Two states of Texas floating around the Pacific Ocean.
Remember that's only the pacific trash gyre...

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 06:53 AM
How very strange! i was just discussing this exact same theory with my work friends literally 10 mins ago!

With the amount of debris, plastic and random bits of trash in the ocean it was a bit premature for them to assume what they found must be the flight, without investigating it properly.

Other sources say that the Pacific "plastic soup" of waste may actually stretch to the size of the USA!!! That's not just the part made up of kayaks, footballs and plastic bags, but also the underlying 'soup' of small particles lying below the water's surface.

What have we done? Whay is no one cleaning this up?

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 07:12 AM
Great informative article Tentickles. I thought I had heard and read everything but this shocked me - I never realised the extent of the ocean's pollution.
No wonder whales are beaching themselves en masse ... they are protesting!
Recent Whale Beaching - Cape Town

I am going to have to brush up on my knowledge of this ...

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 10:08 AM
I have never heard of this before. I never knew this was going on. What have we done to our Oceans and why isnt it being cleaned up?! Thanks for the post, I am going to read up on this!

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 10:37 AM
Tentickles, you always have such good info!

I was discussing this with my brother over the last few weeks. I actually did this same research last week, because I was curious where the so-called trash island was.

Isn't it nice that our earth is flexible and kind enough to take all our pollution and gather it up in one location and go on about her business. This is probably the "oil" of the future, or some odd island in the making.

Originally, I had heard of a giant island of plastic bottles. My plan was to go out there, toss a platform over it and claim it as my own!!!!!!

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 07:40 PM
nice thread S&F.

I've heard about this on a BBC science docu a few years back. At that time it was estimated as the size of one texas. As soon as Google Earth came along it was my very first search and i was rather surprised I could see no evidence of it. I suspect a lot of it is in suspension just below the surface. I also spent ages trying to find photos of it. Surely it's attracted science's attention by now especially as it is the largest man made object of all time- according to stephen Fry in an old episode of QI.

I too had wild visions of laying tarps and carpets down on it, then laying a bed of soil atop that, hoisting my own flag and declaring independence. Then I could also claim territorial waters and therefore earn an income through fishing permits. Get some solar panels and some hard drives and you're also a 'data haven' beyond anyones jurisdiction. It reminded me of places like Rockall and the abandonded oil platforms that people buy in international waters and use for the storage of sensitive data.

I reckon we should get a posse together and stake our claim!!

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 08:43 PM
Im glad you guys have enjoyed this thread.

It is amazing, I agree, that the Earth takes so much of out # and hasnt even complained yet.

I do wonder if the future will be marred with an Ocean of trash at our shores though... Anyone else hoping for a Futurama end to this? Just blast our garbage into space I say. Lots of free room out there.

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