Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

A few years ago, I read an article titled something like, "Five Things That Are Just As Scary As Global Warming." It was then that I heard about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch for the first time. The Garbage Patch is a vortex in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is drawing in plastic and other garbage at alarming rates. According to the Associated Press, scientists--who've only known of its existence for about a decade--are now studying the Patch to determine the extent of damage to the environment.

One of the biggest problems is that plastic degrades into small toxic pieces, which are then ingested by marine animals. And the strength of the vortex is such that scientists have no clue how to clean it up. As one researcher wrote, "Seeing [humanity's] influence just floating out here in the middle of nowhere makes our power painfully obvious, and the consequences of the industrial age plain. It's not a pretty sight."

No comments:

Post a Comment