Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Plastics found in stomachs of deepest sea creatures

Bit of an old one — but I hadn't read it until now

«Animals from the deepest places on Earth have been found with plastic in their stomachs, confirming fears that manmade fibres have contaminated the most remote places on the planet. […] There is now no doubt that plastics pollution is so pervasive that nowhere – no matter how remote – is immune […] These observations are the deepest possible record of microplastic occurrence and ingestion, indicating it is highly likely there are no marine ecosystems left that are not impacted by anthropogenic debris.».

They found plastic fibres from the stomach of animals that dwell at 11km depth, so-called ultra-deep trenches.

«An estimated 300m tonnes of plastic now litters the oceans, with more than 5 trillion plastic pieces – weighing more than 250,000 tonnes – currently floating on the surface. Around 8m tonnes of plastic enters our oceans every year. […] Litter discarded into the oceans will ultimately end up washed back ashore or sinking to the deep-sea, there are no other options.»

There are no other options. Succinct and prescient.
While ending capitalism seems unlikely at best, at present, the litter is already there—the damage is already done. Related to this is global dimming, which the book Desert describes like so:

«Industrial pollution has increased aerosol particles in the atmosphere which are thought to reflect sunlight back into space and seed clouds. If one could somehow turn off global industry tomorrow, this dimming effect would disappear and surface temperatures could rise significantly, almost immediately. This could push feedback mechanisms into place, with massive increases in greenhouse gases being emitted by non-human managed systems. Lovelock says for this reason he thinks we are living in a “fool’s climate” — damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Here I have outlined a very simple (and therefore flawed) picture of a very complex process. For a better stating of the theory, see Meinrat Andreae et al. ‘Strong present-day aerosol cooling implies a hot future’, in, Nature, 30 June 2005. For a more approachable (if simplistic and partially out of date) intro to global dimming watch BBC’s 2005 ‘Global Dimming’ documentary, ( The masking affect is now widely accepted but its extent is still unknown. For instance in a 2008 study by the Met Office Hadley Centre models showed either a modest or severe increase in heating following a sudden removal of haze. Either way “It is very likely that present-day aerosol cooling is suppressing a major portion of current greenhouse warming.” — Peter Stott et al., ‘Observed climate change constrains the likelihood of extreme future global warming’, in, Tellus B, 60: pp. 76–81, 2008. Among the advocates of purposeful geo-engineering the idea of increasing global dimming by dumping sulphates into the stratosphere seems to be gaining support, oh joy.. It’s worth underlining that by the time you read this much of the science will have been superseded/advanced.»
Yes, I remember seeing that number quite a few years ago. I would be surprised if the projection isn't far worse by now. Some extrapolation with regards to overfishing also concluded that there would be no fish by 2040. (Of course, this doesn't literally mean there will be 0 fish, even if the extrapolated model shows this. Like in real-time strategy games, there will probably be that one fucker hiding at the edge of the map somewhere.)

It is interesting to me, how little thought is devoted to ocean life by most people I meet. Many (probably most, at this point) are kind of worried about global warming (i.e. they're worried about it intellectually, theoretically; practically they do nothing), but the impact on our oceans seems to outside of the public consciousness. Somewhat strange considering it is somewhat vital for The Blue Planet.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)