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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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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.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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