Ocean plastic debris estimates are likely far off, research shows

By on April 26, 2012

Estimates of the amount of plastic in the oceans are probably far off, as recent studies by a University of Washington researcher show much of the plastic is beneath the surface, where many don’t look. Giora Proskurowski and his team found that wind pushes plastic below the surface and plastic volume estimates could be 27 times higher than what they show. The team has developed a mathematical model that considers historical weather data to be applied to previous surface sampling data to increase the accuracy of these estimates.

Plastic in the ocean can be detrimental to the body functions of aquatic species; it can also carry bacteria and algae to different locations.

Read more at UW Today.

 Image credit: The Daily Galaxy.

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