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Plastic is found in even the most remote seas

After discovering a swirling patch of plastic bottles, bags and other bits of debris in both the North Pacific Ocean and throughout the Atlantic Ocean, another potential garbage patch has been uncovered in the coastal seas of Antarctica. 

A majority of the Earth's oceans are remote and untouched by garbage and debris, but as researchers take to the sea more frequently, they're finding that plastic trash is reaching even the most distant waters. According to Anna Cummins, an environmental activist who sailed the Atlantic in February collecting plastic samples, "Humanity's plastic footprint is probably more dangerous than its carbon footprint."

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was predicted after Alaska-based researchers obtained results from measuring neustonic plastic in the North Pacific Ocean between 1985 and 1988. In 1988, a paper on the topic was published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Later, in 1997, Oceanographer and racing boat captain Charles J. Moore stumbled upon a large spread of debris in the North Pacific Gyre after a sailing race.

Earlier this year, an Atlantic Garbage Patch was discovered as well. Cummins and Markus Eriksen found the patch during a sailing trip to the Sargasso Sea. Water samples were taken every 100 miles from the seabed, each sample turning up more plastic debris. 

Now, Antarctica is at risk as well. According to surveys taken during the austral summer of 2007-2008, even the most secluded seas such as the Davis and Durmont D'Urville contained fishing buoys and a plastic cup. The British Antarctic Survey and Greenpeace skimmed surface waters and even dug into the seabed all over the Antarctic region in search of possible debris. In addition to garbage found in the Davis and Durmont D'Urville seas, plastic packaging was found in the Amundsen Sea. 

"The seabeds immediately surrounding continental Antarctica are probably the last environments on the planet yet to be reached by plastics," wrote the research team from the British Antarctic Survey to the journal Marine Environmental Research"But with pieces floating into the surface of the Amundsen Sea, this seems likely to change soon. Our knowledge now touches every sea, but so does our legacy of lost and discarded plastic."

The research team on this expedition, led by David Barnes of the British Antarctic Survey, noted that despite the plastic and debris found in Antarctica, the sledges dragged along the seafloor revealed that the Antarctic ecosystem is "healthy" and "vibrant." Some pieces of plastic may have reached the surface of these desolate waters, but they haven't reached the ocean floor in these areas yet. But researchers are expecting this to change as well.

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What's the problem?
By Spivonious on 6/30/2010 1:45:38 PM , Rating: 4
Bury it in the ground, dump it in the ocean, or burn it into the air. The real answer is to cut down on waste.

RE: What's the problem?
By Grast on 6/30/2010 1:49:39 PM , Rating: 3
No the anwser is cut down on waste and recycle what we can and then dispose in a health environmental way.

I saw screw global warming. This issue is real and needs to be resolved.


RE: What's the problem?
By DarkElfa on 6/30/2010 1:52:30 PM , Rating: 3
We need to start using more biodegradable plastic where its possible.

RE: What's the problem?
By invidious on 6/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: What's the problem?
By Etern205 on 6/30/2010 2:30:27 PM , Rating: 2
The garbage patch isn't a bunch of large objects jumbled together. In fact it's a bunch of microscopic debris like plastic bits and so forth which can't escape due to the gyres that keeps it in its place and fish can't swim around it.

It's time for you to take your head out of your ass as your lack of intelligence is clearly showing.

RE: What's the problem?
By MozeeToby on 6/30/2010 2:32:19 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, it does kill the whales. See the thing is that plastic doesn't biodegrade but it does slowly break into smaller and smaller pieces. Eventually the pieces are small enough that whales (and other animals) mistake them for krill and try to eat them. When they get even smaller they can't even be seen and they end up clogging fish's gills, getting into eyes, etc.

RE: What's the problem?
By BZDTemp on 6/30/2010 2:37:02 PM , Rating: 3
I nominate "invidious" as the most egotistical person of the day!

"Why should you care", "Fish can swim around it", "My taxes keep my beaches clean"... damn you must really make your parents proud.

Can you not see that the issue reported on here is a symptom of a really big problem. I think it is sad you have so little compassion and imagination.

Please do the rest of us a favor and do your best to get nominated for a Darwin award as soon as possible.

RE: What's the problem?
By AstroGuardian on 6/30/2010 6:21:13 PM , Rating: 3
Why clean the oil spill? Fish can swim though it... So it's a non-issue... no matter if they are dead afterward.

I can't believe there are creatures which are disgrace to nature such as yourself..

RE: What's the problem?
By dgingeri on 6/30/2010 3:33:39 PM , Rating: 4
I saw screw global warming. This issue is real and needs to be resolved.

the real reason behind this real issue is that this species reproduces far too much and too quickly. There are 6.5+ billion human beings on this planet now. Population control policies need to be implemented, and soon.

the worst part is that the stupidest people are reproducing the most because of casual sex without birth control.

RE: What's the problem?
By bill4 on 6/30/2010 5:37:13 PM , Rating: 2
Uhh no, that's actually false

Current projections show a steady decline in the population growth rate, with the population expected to peak at around 9 billion between the year 2040[4][5] and 2050.[1]

the worst part is that the stupidest people are reproducing the most because of casual sex without birth control.

Cant argue that, look at yourself, an obvious product of inbreeding, or the millions of dumb people who actually voted for Obama.

RE: What's the problem?
By spoerad1 on 6/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: What's the problem?
By edge929 on 7/1/2010 11:35:49 AM , Rating: 2
The human species is pretty much the only one that does not live by "survival of the fittest". In fact, we are totally opposite, survival of the weakest (or less fortunate). The least educated people do indeed have more babies, and in-turn the educated, wealthier people pay for it (welfare) in the form of taxes.

Critics of this thinking will tell you "humans are not animals, we are capable of feeling empathy". Fact is we ARE animals only with higher levels of logical deductive reasoning.

I'm all for reproduction laws that use certain levels of education and societal achievements as barriers to having offspring. Will there be wars? Absolutely. Will the human population eventually reach critical mass? Absolutely, it's just a matter of time.

RE: What's the problem?
By PARANOID365 on 6/30/2010 5:26:35 PM , Rating: 1
I saw screw global warming

Hey Grast, is that an actual documentary/movie, (because it sounds like it might be a good watch), and if so what was it's actual title, (I couldn't find anything that exactly matched, "screw global warming"). Thanx

RE: What's the problem?
By bill4 on 6/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: What's the problem?
By the3monkies on 7/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: What's the problem?
By Ammohunt on 7/1/2010 1:51:26 PM , Rating: 2
Versus what? returning to nature running around in loin cloths and chucking spears at animals as they walk by? you make no sense.

RE: What's the problem?
By Wiggy Mcshades on 7/28/2010 4:47:48 PM , Rating: 1
who gives a shit what happens to the planet? No matter what we do it's destine to be destroyed. I for one like my car not accelerating like its being peddled, I enjoy all the electronics I buy and end up having to throw out, and I'm never going to go inconvenience myself so some ungrateful douche 200 years from now can sit on facebook talking about how cool his solar powered car is.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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