Due to large rotating ocean currents, trash is concentrated by so-called gyres
to form floating dumps.
It has washed up on the most remote beaches, amassed in distant gyres
, and been discovered in the bodies of dead organisms from fish to birds to whales.
Through photodegradation and other weathering processes, plastics undergo fragmentation in the ocean and converge with subtropical gyres
They found sub-tropical gyres
were "dustbins" for large bits of plastic, especially near the coast, but smaller fragments were scattered worldwide.
There are five major oceanic gyres
worldwide, with several smaller gyres
in Alaska and Antarctica.
I found more in the Great Lakes than in any sample anywhere in the world's oceans," says Eriksen, cofounder with Cummins of the 5 Gyres
Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to documenting plastic pollution in the world's five major oceanic gyres
(huge swirling currents in which debris accumulates in the North and South Pacific, the North and South Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean--the North Pacific gyre
has amassed a "garbage patch" as big as the state of Texas).
At least five gyres
, or floating garbage patches, are spread across the globe, containing more than 20 million items of rubbish.
Together with a greenhouse gas-induced southward shift the Indian subtropical ocean gyres
towards the Antarctic, these processes delay the Indian Ocean warming in the models," Dr Cai said.
Much of our plastic ends up in the ocean in giant collections of trash called gyres
, created by circular ocean currents," she adds.
6,17,22) Floating plastic fragments have been reported in the Northern Hemisphere subtropical gyres
since the early 1970s in the North Atlantic, (12, 14, 29) and North Pacific.
Those currents, which are formed by wind, flow in giant patterns called gyres
Like The Gyres
, one of Scotland's great lost bands, they had it all - the backing of Alan McGee and support slots with Kings of Leon and The Zutons.
McKinley and colleagues at UW-Madison, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, and the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris expanded their analysis by combining existing data from a range of years (1981-2009), methodologies, and locations spanning most of the North Atlantic into a single time series for each of three large regions called gyres
, defined by distinct physical and biological characteristics.
The couple is joining a leg of an expedition by The 5 Gyres
Institute, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit that is exploring the world's oceans in the most exhaustive survey of marine plastic pollution ever done.
The basic features in the simulation results were as in the conical basin, with the anticyclonic and cyclonic gyres
resulting from the balance between the pressure gradient and the Coriolis acceleration.