Aerial Survey Reveals Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Holding More Trash Than Previously Estimated

Posted: Oct 5 2016, 5:10am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Aerial Survey Reveals that Great Pacific Garbage Patch is Holding More Trash than Previously Estimated
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The first-ever aerial survey of Great Pacific Garbage Patch shows that ocean pollution is worse than we thought

Bayon Slat, a Dutch inventor and entreprenuer, was just 18 years old when he organized “The Ocean Cleanup” foundation with the goal of ridding ocean’s plastic pollution.

On Monday, the foundation revealed the initial findings from the Aerial Expedition, the first ever aerial survey to assess the true extent of ocean pollution across the globe. Understanding how much debris is floating in the ocean is necessary to achieve the ultimate goal of clean oceans around the world.

Humans have been dumping tons of plastic debris in the oceans every year. However, contrary to the popular belief, this debris does not locked up in the ocean forever and eventually washes up on the shore. So, we can expect to see piles of debris floating across the ocean, which can also have deadly consequences for marine biodiversity and ecosystem.

The initial findings of the survey are based on the plastic accumulation zone between Hawaii and California known as Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is the world’s largest landfill and is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And the findings showed that the situation is worse than we feared.

The world’s first survey of Great Pacific Garbage Patch has revealed that the density of trash in this area of the ocean is several times higher than previously estimated. It is littered with trillions of plastic debris.

“This first-ever aerial survey of floating ocean plastic provided confirmation of the abundance of plastic debris sized 0.5 m and up. While the flight plan took us along the Northern boundary of the patch, more debris was recorded than what is expected to be found in the heart of the accumulation zone.” The Ocean Cleanup blog said.

During a span of just two and a half hours, crew observed more than a thousand large objects of plastic floating underneath this aircraft, indicating more objects are there in the garbage patch than expected. It reinforces the fact that we need to show urgency in cleaning up the oceans and also to prevent more plastic debris entering the ocean waters.

The Ocean Cleanup system is expected to be deployed in 2020.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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