Horrors Of The Pacific

A visual definition of a Gyre

A visual definition of a Gyre

 

There are many things that we do not know about our planet. Yes, we know about the beauties- Europe, tropical islands, national parks, and big cities, but how much do we really know about these places and things? The reality of it is that our planet is getting sicker with each passing year.

    Climate change has been proven by 97 percent of scientists- so why aren’t we acting quicker to decrease our carbon footprints? A big factor that affects climate change are the oceans. The Pacific Ocean is in great danger and is progressively getting worse.

    Between the coasts of the United States and Asia, there is what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  This patch is made out of Gyres-  systems of circular ocean currents formed by winds and the rotation of the planet.  Trash is blown into the ocean and eventually makes its way into these gyres forming a 4,928-acre garbage patch.  

    The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made up of 80 percent land waste and 20 percent waste from boaters.  Alone, 705,000 tons of the debris is made up of fishing nets.  Other pieces of trash include styrofoam, plastic bags, bottle caps, and plastic bottles.  This massive patch of garbage is affecting wildlife and the food chain.  

    A chemical called Bisphenol A, is released from different types of plastics. This chemical causes serious health problems to humans and wildlife when it is consumed.  When fish, crab, lobster, and eel are in an environment with plastic waste, they become contaminated. This affects the food chain and puts humans at risk for serious health issues.  One part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a 1,536 acre island- Midway Atoll.  

A bird from the island of Midway Atoll

A bird from the island of Midway Atoll

    Midway Atoll is only 3,200 miles from the coast of California.  It is home to 1.5 million black-footed albatrosses.  90 percent of the island’s land is covered in trash. 20 tons of plastic debris is washed up on the island each year, and five tons of that debris and fed to baby albatrosses. There is so much pollution on Midway Atoll that every bird will die with a full belly of plastic. This is only one major element of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

    The ocean and everything affected by them become more polluted each year.  The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is only one of the many horrors of our planet earth. With polluted lands and waters, the earth will eventually not be able to withstand human life.  

Evo Morales, president of Bolivia, said, “What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.”    
Megan CollamatiComment