Origin, dynamics and evolution of ocean garbage patches from observed surface drifters


Formal Metadata

Origin, dynamics and evolution of ocean garbage patches from observed surface drifters
Title of Series
Sebille, Erik van
England, Matthew H.
Froyland, Gary
CC Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlike 3.0 Unported:
You are free to use, adapt and copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in adapted or unchanged form for any legal and non-commercial purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor and the work or content is shared also in adapted form only under the conditions of this license.
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Release Date

Content Metadata

Subject Area
Much of the debris in the near-surface ocean collects in so-called garbage patches where, due to convergence of the surface flow, the debris is trapped for decades to millennia. Until now, studies modelling the pathways of surface marine debris have not included release from coasts or factored in the possibilities that release concentrations vary with region or that pathways may include seasonal cycles. Here, we use observational data from the Global Drifter Program in a particle-trajectory tracer approach that includes the seasonal cycle to study the fate of marine debris in the open ocean from coastal regions around the world on interannual to centennial timescales. We find that six major garbage patches emerge, one in each of the five subtropical basins and one previously unreported patch in the Barents Sea. The evolution of each of the six patches is markedly different. With the exception of the North Pacific, all patches are much more dispersive than expected from linear ocean circulation theory, suggesting that on centennial timescales the different basins are much better connected than previously thought and that inter-ocean exchanges play a large role in the spreading of marine debris. This study suggests that, over multi-millennial timescales, a significant amount of the debris released outside of the North Atlantic will eventually end up in the North Pacific patch, the main attractor of global marine debris.

Related Material

so in today's a consumer society the production of plastics has skyrocketed and
although most of it gets into landfills or that she cycle still a lot of it gets into the ocean
instantly is a phone from beaches or from reverse order ships and
the classical saying the ocean for quite a long time it's
hard to measure in really wait how much classics there's what we do know is that in some regions of the North Pacific give more weight in plastic than there is in life there's more if you go out fishing find more plastic senior nesting you do fish or even plants so
we've been trying to investigate how old how long the classical being the ocean and how it gets from the coast actually into what we call the great ocean garbage patches so what we use this servers drifted
surface drift which are in the ocean and they've just like
plastic if the round but unlike the plastics they have a GPS sensor so we know at all times
where they are and we use the paths of the
surface drift was to get a statistical feeling for how garbage move around in the ocean
using these this statistics we could project the path of all the plastics and all the ocean for next thousand years the garbage started the
coast run the ocean and our where 2 people if and within a few months the occurrence move them into the open ocean and there they formed a great garbage patches which are kind of like vacuum cleaners of the ocean the 6 of them there's 5 in each of the sub tropical oceans between the consonants and then there's a 6 all the way up in the Arctic environment their patches away-goal it it with with time due to the seasonal shifts of the winds but in general the patches stay there for a very long time within
the was about respect is it's not beach balls a rubber duckies or big things floating around there some of it is that most of it is actually really small millimeter sized plastic pellets the sun all degrades
the plastics over time and aggressive just this integrated into smaller and smaller palettes that just float in the upper ocean and make this kind of soup structure blanks on grown
palace birds the damn fish damn and because these palettes and the blacks they
can contain quite a lot of toxins that becomes part of the food chain what exact the fact that
plastic has an ecosystem we don't really know yet even if we prevent and stop moral
these plastics as patches are not going away the garbage patches will stay there for at least 9 thousand years there's really no
solution for getting the plastics out in the ocean it's too small it's too diverse is too thin the soup to get out there with the ship and at pick it up of course
the way to go then would be to make plastics and do break down blessings that even if they get into the ocean I don't really have the time to accumulate in these garbage patches because they will just disintegrate and will be gone from the food chain but the funds that the patches are really an international problem It's not that plastic from 1 country ends up in 1 particular patch quite the contrary
altered batch of the plastics ends up in all the patches and the patches are
interconnected in a way that we didn't know before all of the rubbishy 1 patch connect you
move on time scales of 10 years or so into the other patches so if we want to prevent reduce
clean the patches really need to have an international collaboration


  326 ms - page object


AV-Portal 3.10.1 (444c3c2f7be8b8a4b766f225e37189cd309f0d7f)