What the new study about ocean plastics tells us – Part 1 “We are just guessing”

Just recently a new research paper was published about plastic debris in our oceans. This time the focus is on small floating plastic debris. We decided to dive a bit deeper into the science behind – and because science papers are no fun reading we break it into meaningful, comprehensive pieces. This is part one.

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Like every paper the authors from the Imperial College of London and around start with their evaluation of the WHY? Why do we need to know this. Well, there is a simple answer: Because we are just guessing.

 

Recently research has increased a lot in the field of marine plastic pollution, however, the object of examination – let’s face it, is almost as big as ¾ of our planet’s surface: Our oceans.

 

There have been studies that examined the pollution from coastline to open ocean, from surface to seafloor, deep sea, artic ice and more extensive research was conducted in the North and East Atlantic Gyres in the northern hemisphere.

 

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Very little is know about the gyres in the Southern hemisphere, of which are three. Yes, that is one more than up north! And, hey, what happens outside the gyres? We wouldn’t bet that no more plastic waste is found once you leave the gyres.

 

To  sum it up: We know nothing, and what we seem to know is the result of lots of estimating, extrapolating, and approximating. But, with each new study we might find out a little bit more about the real state of the oceans.

 

Read more about the new findings in the next article!

 

Source: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/10/12/124006/pdf

 

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