Great Pacific Garbage Patch
February 29, 2012 by staff
Great Pacific Garbage Patch, On March 11, 2011, an undersea 9.0 megathrust earthquake was triggered and sent a duel catastrophe rocketing into the coast of Japan. The Tohoku-oki Quake and Tsunami ended up creating the worst nuclear accident in 25 years and the most costly natural disaster in our recorded history. Approximately 20,000 people died from this disaster primarily to drowning. Entire coastal communities and ports were crushed under 3-6 meter waves, producing an estimated 20 million tons of debris.
Today, a highly sophisticated projection of the debris flow pattern was released by the International Pacific Research Center. The projections indicate that 95 percent of the debris not sunk with be swept up into the North Pacific Gyre, the largest of 5 major ocean gyres. The debris, once in the gyre, would normally stay there until it degrades into the ocean. This is not going to be the case, due to abnormal conditions.
In 1988, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made a prediction of the existence of a massive garbage field that would have been generated from being locked within the North Pacific Gyre’s current. After extensive research, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (or Pacific Trash Vortex) was discovered. Since its discovery, scientists estimate the Pacific Garbage Patch is twice as big as Texas and composed of a soup of chemicals, bits of plastic, and garbage from the shore.
At the end of this month, the debris from the Tohoku-oki Tsunami will be making contact with the Pacific Garbage Patch. The end result will be the broken remains of coastal Japan will be circulating about 500 miles off the coast of California. It will take an estimated year or two for the debris of Tohoku-oki to settle into the Pacific Garbage Patch. Once this happens, the Pacific Garbage Patch will swell significantly.
The Pacific Garbage Patch is already responsible for a war of attrition on the natural world in the Pacific Ocean. Many of the plastic bits in the area are plankton sized, and mistakenly eaten by the marine life that resides there. Once the debris from Japan joins the mess, expect the impact to deepen.
Many scientists feel this is a hopeless situation at the moment. Despite this, there are still people struggling to clean up the environmental disaster. The full damage of this amalgam of pollution will remain incalculable for now, and will remain as such until some repair is accomplished.
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