Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/29/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Researchers believe there may be 27 times more plastic in the oceans than currently estimated.

An oceanographer is suggesting that plastic pollution in the ocean may by as much as 2.5 times worse than presently estimated saying that winds may be driving much of the trash underwater.

This bird likely died from eating plastic and other debris harvested from the ocean. The indigestible bits of plastic that lodged themselves inside can be easily seen.

This bird likely died from eating plastic and other debris harvested from the ocean. The indigestible bits of plastic that lodged themselves inside can be easily seen.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/29/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Plastic, oceans, scientists, Proskurowski, Kukulka


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Giora Proskurowski says he saw bits of plastic debris floating on the surface disappear when winds picked up leading him to suspect that much of the plastic debris in the ocean is below the surface. 

Proskurowski did research with Tobias Kukulka of the University of Delaware, finding that there may be more than 2.5 times the amount of plastic swirling in the world's oceans creating serious hazards for marine life - much more. By their highest estimate, there could be 27 times more plastic in the oceans than currently predicted.

The ambiguity comes from the method of measurement - scientists have only been measuring plastic debris on the surface since they do not have the means to accurately measure how much is floating below the surface or lying on the sea floor. 

Their research also suggests that winds cause plastic debris to submerge where it is difficult to measure.

Proskurowski and Kukulka tested their theory by lowering a special net to varying depths and opening it for set periods of time. Proskurowski said, "Almost every subsurface tow we took had plastic in the net."

The study suggests most of the plastic in the oceans is in the top layer of water between 82 feet and the surface. 

The scientists also found substantial quantities of plastic that had broken into tiny grains measured in millimeters.  

Plastic is dangerous to aquatic life because it is frequently ingested by animals. Many creatures can mistake plastic objects for food and will ingest the plastic where it becomes lodged in their bodies. Contaminated bits of plastic that still carry residue of toxic substances can poison other animals. 

Over very long periods of time, the plastic breaks down into polymers and tinier particles, eventually making its way into smaller elements of the food chain. At every stage, the pollution wreaks havoc and kills organisms. 

There are no estimates of how many creatures die because of plastic contamination but the numbers are thought to be substantial. Certainly, filling the oceans up with trash cannot be a good thing. 

 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Green

Half the world's animals went extinct over past 40 years Watch

Image of Northern lapwings, pictured, an once-familiar sight on British farmlands have fallen 60 percent and grey partridges have halved in number.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The news for the Animal Kingdom is uniformly grim: Half of the world's animals went extinct over the past 40 years, all of it due to the fault of humanity. D4estruction of habitat, unlawful hunting and the destruction of the environment has sent countless ... continue reading


A new weapon in the war against Climate Change. How moderates and radicals are joining forces Watch

Image of More militant environmentalism is being fazed out as radicals and moderates band together and turn to civil disobedience as an effective weapon.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New York saw the largest climate-related march ever, where hundreds of thousands participated before the United Nations held a summit on climate change. The next day, hundreds were arrested in Manhattan as part of a demonstration against Wall Street, which blames ... continue reading


New hope for Monarch butterfly migration: butterflies seen entering Mexico Watch

Image of Butterflies have been sighted in the northern border state of Coahuila. This is slightly earlier than their usual arrival time when they come back in October from the United States and Canada, where they spend the summer.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Much dismay surrounded the scarcity of Monarch butterflies last year. The colorful black-and-orange creatures had dropped to their lowest level in 2013. There is new hope, Monarch butterflies have been seen entering Mexico earlier than usual, which foretells ... continue reading


Mystery video: Remains of an ancient lizard - or just a rock? Watch

Image of Several professors and experts in paleontology have expressed their skepticism that the find is genuine, and say it might be a hoax.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Experts are still unable to identify exactly what the mystery crocodile-style object found buried in a Siberian river after a week of speculation. Fishermen supposedly bumped into the head of the "rock" last week. It has been confirmed by scientists to be the ... continue reading


Greenhouse gas emissions predicted to hit historic highs Watch

Image of Smog in China, a nation which produces more than 10 billion tons of greenhouse gas, more than that of the U.S. and Europe combined.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recently released study shows that greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil-fuel fuels and cement production will reach a record high this year, fueled primarily by rapid growth in Chinese industries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Global ... continue reading


100,000 march to stop climate change in New York Watch

Image of A woman protests the development of the tar sands pipeline through the United States.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tens of thousands gathered in the streets of New York on September 22, as part of an international day of protest on climate change, and event organizers predicted it was the largest protest about the issue in five years. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Scientists call upon Pope Francis to take the lead on climate change Watch

Image of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church could change attitudes on an important topic.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Historically, the Catholic Church has been accused of being anti-science. This is a lie. The Catholic Church is pro-truth and in cases where science was not yet established, the Church has demurred or cautioned. Yet in cases where the science is established, the Church ... continue reading


Sunday's global warming march displays everything that's wrong with global warming activism Watch

Image of Displays like this are both absurd and counterproductive. The discussion about global warming needs to move from political rhetoric to one informed by ethics and moral guidance.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This Sunday, thousands of climate activists will march on the streets of New York, in an effort to rekindle due concern over the environment. While the cause appears noble, the entire effort may be off to a doomed start. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This Sunday, ... continue reading


Just in time for Halloween! 'Werewolf' cat enchanting fanciers Watch

Image of The cats' sickly appearance is only skin deep. Aside from the patchy hair that makes them notable, the first few generations of Lykoi cats seem rather healthy thus far.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Gaining in popularity among cat fanciers and breeders, the "Lykoi" cat is most peculiar looking. Many would instantly assume the patchy critter is inflicted with a sort of mange. The "Lykoi" cat, or "werewolf" cat is in fact carefully raised for its unusual ... continue reading


Antarctic sea ice reaches record levels and why that's bad Watch

Image of Antarctic sea ice continues to expand by about 1.5 percent coverage every year. This trend has continued since 1979 and it thought to be driven by global warming.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Research ships and other vessels traveling through Antarctic waters will have to be very careful this year because Antarctic ice has expanded rapidly, increasing the hazard to ships. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An incredible quantity of sea ice has formed ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
1 In the end it was Job who broke the silence and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8
2 may my prayer reach your presence, hear my cry for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:51-56
51 Now it happened that as the time drew near for him ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 30th, 2014 Image

St. Jerome
September 30: St. Jerome, who was born Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius, was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter