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South Pacific Trash Vortex

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The Southern Pacific Gyre is part of the Earth’s system of rotating ocean currents, bounded by the Equator to the north, Australia to the West, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current to the South, and South America to the east.

Image result for south pacific gyre garbage patch
The center of the South Pacific Gyre is the site on Earth farthest from any continents and productive ocean regions and is regarded as Earth’s largest oceanic desert. Despite this, there is still life since even deserts have organisms living in them.
The prevailing issue concerning the Southern Pacific Gyre is the problem of pollution. The problem of pollution is to such an extreme case it is named the Great Pacific garbage patch, Pacific trash vortex is another name used for this gyre. It was discovered between 1985 and 1988, located roughly between roughly between 135°W to 155°W and 35°N and 42°N. The patch extends over an indeterminate area of widely varying range depending on the degree of plastic concentration used to define the affected area.
The patch is characterized by exceptionally high relative concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge. and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the Northern Pacific Gyre. Its low density (4 particles per cubic meter) prevents detection by satellite photography or even by casual boaters or divers in the area. It consists primarily of a small increase in suspended, often microscopic, particles in the upper water column.

Image result for south pacific gyre garbage patch
The issue of the large pollution in the gyre causes other small biodiverse islands to be affected by having such huge amounts of debris wash up on their shores, and not to mention the non-biodegradable material that will stay for an unprecedented amount of time. This affects wildlife, and marine life in the Pacific. Even though the Gyre had been known for almost 3 decades now, it is still hard to detect due to the nature of the debris floating within the water. Even worse is concerning the cost of a cleanup, how it would be organized, planned, and executed. Would the marginal cost be worth the societal benefit? Although it would be ideal to be environmentally friendly, sometimes the costs can make it detrimental or not practical to people or organizations to pursue such courses of action. Our hope is that as of now, it is not impacting the world as much as it could. However, it is still open to debate what should be done about the situation.

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The student-run news site of Pacifica High School
South Pacific Trash Vortex