South atlantic garbage patch

South atlantic garbage patch

North Atlantic garbage patch

The North Atlantic is home to the largest patch of garbage ever in the northern hemisphere. The North is in the northern part of the North Atlantic and refers to the region of water and land areas in the northern North Atlantic. The North Atlantic is an ocean which is in the northern part of North America and Europe.


The highest concentrations of plastic were found roughly from the latitude of Virginia to the latitude of Cuba. While they were able to clearly define the north and south boundaries of the patch, the cruise tracks didn't venture far enough east to find the eastern boundary. They estimate the average concentration of plastic in this area is about 4,000 pieces per square mile, though it is as high as 250,000 pieces per square mile in some places.

To determine where the plastic is coming from, researchers used data from more than 1,600 satellite-tracked drifting buoys deployed between 1989 and 2009 to map surface currents in the region. More than 100 buoys passed through the Atlantic plastic region, most originating from the eastern seaboard. In most cases, the buoys reached the plastic patch in less than 60 days. (Source: www.wired.com)

Using this data, scientists estimate that the North Atlantic Garbage Patch is hundreds of kilometers in size and has a density of 200,000 pieces of trash per square kilometer in some places. Despite its enormous size and density, the patch is, more often than not, invisible to the naked eye and even satellite imaging. The photodegradable plastic that makes up the vast majority of the mass shrinks to smaller than .01 of an inch and is pushed under the surface of the water by deep waves. Unfortunately, this attribute makes it all the more likely that the plastic - and all of its pollutants - will be swallowed by aquatic creatures. (Source: www.atlasobscura.com)



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