New floating garbage patch found in Atlantic Ocean

Researchers have found a high concentration of plastic debris is floating in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Caribbean, months after concerns were raised over a vast patch of rubbish floating in the Pacific Ocean.

The study's principal investigator said that the findings were based on more than 64,000 tiny bits of plastic collected over more than 22 years by Sea Education Association undergraduates.

Researchers believe surface currents carry the debris to the area between 22 and 38 degrees north latitude and that waves also deliver trash to a spot between Hawaii and California known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Kara Lavendar Law, one of the researchers, said it was difficult to compare the two, but team members in both places collected more than 1,000 pieces during a single tow of a net.

The study was conducted by researchers from SEA, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Hawaii.

The Great Pacific Garbage patch was originally discovered in 1997 by Captain Charles Moore.

Roughtly the size of Texas, the patch is characterised by exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastic, chemical sludge, and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.

Despite its size and density, the patch is not visible from satellite photography because it consists of very small pieces, almost invisible to the naked eye and most of its contents are suspended beneath the surface of the ocean.

(C) The Telegraph Group
London 2010

www island.lk

Copyright©Upali Newspapers Limited.

Hosted by


Upali Newspapers Limited, 223, Bloemendhal Road, Colombo 13, Sri Lanka, Tel +940112497500