Oceanic Gyres and Its Effect on the Environment Essay

Oceanic Gyres and Its Effect on the Environment Essay

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Ocean gyres are harmless to the environment, although plastic waste that they attract are far from it. “The reason that we use the word “gyres,” as opposed to simply using the word “currents,’” Emanuele Di Lorenzo, a gyre expert at Georgia Institute of Technology explains “Is that these water masses rotate on the scales of the entire oceanic basin” (EarthSky Technical Science News.) Ocean gyres are made from combination of things; rotation of the earth, sun and wind, and salinity and temperature. Because the earth rotates, the oceans of the world reflect this in circular currents. The sun controls temperature of the atmosphere, also making wind. Finally the salinity and temperature play a role in the density of water; less dense water rises and higher densities sink. These factors all have a role in forming ocean gyres, and keeping them around.
The water that moves in a spiral motion in oceanic gyres locks plastic waste in, keeping it captive indefinitely. Plastic only takes up twenty percent in landfills, which is shocking; because the extent which consumers use it. If only twenty percent is ending up in landfills, where is it going? The answer is simple, in the ocean. Charles Moore claims “Eighty percent of mid-ocean flotsams has

originally been discarded on land” ( Weisman.) Moore estimated that the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” alone has roughly three million tons of plastic waste in it, and has grown by 100 percent over the past 40 years. It’s crazy to think we are polluting the only home humans have; filling the oceans of the world carelessly with waste.
Plastics are a product that was intended to stay on land; although they have been entering oceans at a startling rate, affecting the environment dramatically. Pol...


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...igh concentration of plastic found near ocean gyres. There is simply not enough positive outcomes for animals surrounding plastic in ocean gyres to outway the death of oceanic animals by polymers. In fact, researchers are wondering if the plastic found near ocean gyres is giving an unplanned advantage to creatures who have learned to live with it. The organisms that can lay their eggs on the plastic, live on it, or even safety eat it, have an upper hand over other marine life. “"While these organisms [that grow directly on the plastic] are native, they're kind of like weeds," Goldstein explains, in that they grow, reproduce and die quickly” (For Some Species, Plastic Is Fantastic.) Plastic has not been around long enough to show long term effects of how a magnitude of polymer products in a giant circular ocean current will affect the ecosystem or the environment.

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