plastic ocean

the other day i stumbled across an interesting article on the huffington post. sometimes this news source has a tendency to dramatize for the sake of popularity, but after reading this article i realized the incredible magnitude of this problem--we have truly created a plastic ocean.

it is called the "great pacific garbage patch" and it was 'discovered' by captain charles moore on a trip from hawaii and california in 1997. the issue here is the fragility of the ocean ecosystem as well as how vast the area of this garbage is. beaches accumulate the plastic, fish and birds mistake it for food, and the plastic debris are destroying coral reefs all over the world.

arguably, the extreme weather experienced in recent years has stemmed from man-made climate problems, and the devastating tsunami that hit Japan earlier this year has left 20 million tons of debris in the ocean, which is drifting towards hawaii.

the image above is actually from the atlantic ocean. moore describes these garbage patches as more of a "plastic soup."

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