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Latest Marine debris Stories

Pacific Ocean 'Garbage Patch' Increasing At Alarming Rate
2012-05-09 09:16:49

Brett Smith for RedOrbit.com Plastic trash has been accumulating in the Pacific Ocean at an alarming rate and its effects are reverberating throughout the ecosystem, according to a new study by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. The  study, published in the May 9 online issue of the journal Biology Letters, found that plastic trash in the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has increased by 100 times over in the past 40 years.  Experts disagree over...

Image 1 - Plastic Waste In Oceans Severely Underestimated
2012-04-26 11:23:18

[ Watch the Video ] Oceanographers may be severely undercounting the true amount of plastic waste that finds its way into the oceans after a happenstance discovery of how the plastic is actually distributed. On a research cruise, University of Washington oceanographer Giora Proskurowski noticed the water surface was littered with tiny bits of plastic, until noticing the that as the wind picked up the plastic “disappeared.” Water samples taken from 16 feet below the surface...

Tracking Marine Debris from the Japanese Tsunami
2011-12-29 05:00:33

[ Watch the Video ] Debris scatters in the Pacific Ocean, possibly heading to U.S. Debris from the tsunami that devastated Japan in March could reach the United States as early as this winter, according to predictions by NOAA scientists. However, they warn there is still a large amount of uncertainty over exactly what is still floating, where it's located, where it will go, and when it will arrive. Responders now have a challenging, if not impossible situation on their hands: How...

2011-12-21 14:36:11

The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS) award-winning "Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions" podcast series discusses the discovery that household washing machines seem to be a major source of so-called "microplastic" pollution -- bits of polyester and acrylic smaller than the head of a pin -- that researchers now have detected on ocean shorelines worldwide. In the podcast, Mark Anthony Browne, Ph.D., explains that the accumulation of microplastic debris in marine...

Image 1 - Debris Field From Japan’s Tsunami To Hit US Next Year
2011-10-26 04:49:09

An estimated 5 million to 20 million tons of debris now floating in the ocean following Japan's massive tsunami is due to hit the shores Hawaii by early next year, before reaching the U.S. West coast sometime in 2014, according to estimates by University of Hawaii scientists. The projections have been validated by a Russian training ship, which spotted the debris in the Pacific Ocean where the scientists from the university's International Pacific Research Center predicted it would be....

2011-10-19 13:04:37

Scientists are reporting that household washing machines seem to be a major source of so-called "microplastic" pollution – bits of polyester and acrylic smaller than the head of a pin – that they now have detected on ocean shorelines worldwide. Their report describing this potentially harmful material appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology. Mark Browne and colleagues explain that the accumulation of microplastic debris in marine environments has raised...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'