Up to 88 Percent of Ocean Surfaces Sullied by Plastic: Study

Monday, 30 Jun 2014 04:44 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

As much as 88 percent of the open ocean's surface contains plastic debris, raising concern about the effect on marine life and the food chain, scientists said Monday.

Mass-produced plastics from toys, bags, food containers and utensils make their way into the oceans through storm water runoff, a problem that is only expected to get worse in the coming decades.

The findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences are based on more than 3,000 ocean samples collected around the world by a Spanish science expedition in 2010.

"Ocean currents carry plastic objects which split into smaller and smaller fragments due to solar radiation," said lead researcher Andres Cozar from the University of Cadiz.

"Those little pieces of plastic, known as microplastics, can last hundreds of years and were detected in 88 percent of the ocean surface sampled during the Malaspina Expedition 2010."

The study projected that the total amount of plastics in the world's oceans -- between 10,000 and 40,000 tons -- is actually lower than prior estimates.

However, it raised new concerns about the fate of so much plastic, particularly the smallest pieces.

The study found that plastic fragments "between a few microns and a few milimeters in size are underrepresented in the ocean surface samples."

More research is needed to find out where these are going and what effects they are having on the world's marine life.

"These micro plastics have an influence on the behavior and the food chain of marine organisms," said Cozar.

"But probably, most of the impacts taking place due to plastic pollution in the oceans are not yet known."

 

© AFP 2014

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Smartphone Encryption May Set Up Law Enforcement Fight for Data

Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 10:24 AM

Smartphone makers Apple and Google are on track for a showdown with the government on new encryption features that makes . . .

Cyber Expert Weisman: Chinese Hacking 'Scares the Hell Out of Me'

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 13:22 PM

Cyber expert Steven J.J. Weisman and Javier Manjarres, managing editor of The Shark Tank Blog, talked to JD Hayworth on  . . .

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bills Promoting Electric Car Usage

Monday, 22 Sep 2014 12:10 PM

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed several bills on Sunday intended to boost his state's electric car market, including  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved