In the Pacific there is an unusual island,which is not marked on any map of the world. Meanwhile, the area of this place, which has become a real disgrace of our planet, already exceeds the territory of France. The fact is that mankind produces garbage, which increases every day and covers new territories not only on the earth. Extremely affected residents of aquatic ecosystems, who have felt in recent decades all the delights of civilization.
Unfortunately, most people do not know aboutreal ecological situation and dirty heritage of mankind. The problem of marine debris causing irreparable damage to the environment is not publicized, and after all, according to approximate calculations, the weight of plastics that emits toxic substances is more than one hundred million tons.
Where does the trash come from in the ocean, if a personthere does not live? More than 80% of the waste comes from land-based sources, and the bulk of them are plastic bottles from under the water, bags, cups. In addition, fishing nets and containers that are lost from ships are at sea. The main polluters are two countries - China and India, where residents dump garbage directly into the water.
We can say that from the moment we inventedplastic, and the total pollution of the green planet began. The material, which greatly facilitated people's lives, turned into a real poison for the earth and the ocean when it gets there after use. Decaying for more than a hundred years, cheap plastic, from which it is so easy to get rid of, causes serious damage to nature.
About this problem repeat more than fiftyyears, but ecologists only in the beginning of 2000 sounded the alarm, because the planet had a new continent consisting of waste. Underwater currents brought down the plastic rubbish in garbage islands in the ocean, which turned out to be a kind of trap and can not go beyond it. It is impossible to say exactly how much unnecessary trash the planet stores.
The greatest dump that is inPacific basin, goes deeper by 30 meters and stretches from California to the Hawaiian Islands for hundreds of kilometers. Dozens of years of plastic floated in the water, until it formed a huge island, growing at a catastrophic pace. According to the researchers, its mass now exceeds the mass of zooplankton by almost seven times.
Pacific garbage island, consisting ofplastic, which crumbles into small pieces under the influence of salt and sun, is held in one place thanks to the underwater currents. Here is located the subtropical whirlpool, which is called the "desert of the World Ocean". Here from different parts of the world for many years various rubbish has been demolished, and because of the abundance of rotting corpses of animals, wet wood, water is saturated with hydrogen sulfide. This is a real dead zone, extremely poor in life. In a fetid place, where the fresh wind never blows, do not go shopping and military ships, trying to get around it.
But after the 50-ies of the last century, the situationsharply deteriorated, and to the remains with algae added plastic packaging, bags and bottles that are not exposed to biological decay. Now the garbage island in the Pacific Ocean, the area of which is growing several times every ten years, is 90% polyethylene.
Living in water mammals take for foodwaste that sticks in the stomach, and soon die. They get entangled in the garbage, getting deadly damage. Birds feed their chicks with small sharp granules resembling eggs, which leads to their death. Ocean garbage is also a danger to humans, because many marine creatures that enter it are poisoned by plastic.
Garbage floating on the ocean surface blockssun rays, which threatens the normal life of plankton and algae that support the ecosystem, producing nutrients. Their disappearance will lead to the death of many species of marine life. The garbage island, consisting of plastic, which does not decompose in water, conceals a danger to all living beings.
A recent study conducted by scientists,showed that the main part of the debris - is the smallest plastic particles about five millimeters in size, which are distributed both on the surface and in the middle layers of water. Because of this, it is not possible to find out the true extent of pollution, since it is impossible to see a garbage island in the Pacific Ocean from a satellite or an airplane. Firstly, about 70% of the trash falls to the bottom, and secondly, the transparent plastic particles lie beneath the surface of the water, and to see them from the height is simply unrealistic. A giant polyethylene spot can be seen only from a ship that approached it closely, or diving with an aqualung. Some scientists claim that its area is about 15 million kilometers.
When studying the pieces of plastic found inwater, it was found that they are densely populated by microbes: one millimeter was found about a thousand bacteria, both innocuous and capable of causing disease. It turned out that garbage changes the ocean, and one can not predict what the consequences will be, but people depend heavily on the existing ecosystem.
The Pacific spot is not the only garbage onplanet, in the world there are five large and several small landfills in the waters of Antarctica and Alaska. No expert can accurately say what the degree of contamination is.
Of course, the existence of such a phenomenon asa garbage island, was long predicted by famous oceanographers, but only 20 years ago Captain C. Moore, returning from regatta, discovered millions of plastic pieces around his yacht. He did not even realize that he was swimming in a trash can, which had no end. Charles, who was interested in the problem, founded an environmental organization that deals with the study of the Pacific Ocean.
From the reports of the yachtsman, where he warned ofhanging over humanity threat, at first simply dismissed. And only after a violent storm that threw tons of plastic debris on the beaches of the Hawaiian Islands, which caused the death of thousands of animals and birds, the surname of Moore became known to the whole world.
After the studies, during whichIn seawater, carcinogens used in the production of reusable bottles were discovered, the American warned that further use of polyethylene would threaten the entire planet. "The plastic that absorbs chemicals is incredibly toxic," said the discoverer of the island, consisting of floating trash, "The sea dwellers absorb poison, and the ocean has turned into plastic soup."
First, the garbage particles are in the stomachsunderwater inhabitants, and then migrate to people's plates. So polyethylene becomes a link in the food chain, which for people is fraught with deadly diseases, because scientists have long proven the presence of plastic in the human body.
A garbage island on the surface of which it is impossiblewalk, consists of the smallest particles forming a cloudy soup. Ecologists compared him to a large animal, which was lowered from the leash. As soon as the garbage reaches the land, chaos begins. There are cases when the beaches were covered with plastic "confetti", which not only spoiled the rest of tourists, but also led to the death of sea turtles.
However, destroying the natural ecosystema garbage island, the photo of which was bypassed by all world publications devoted to ecology, gradually turns into a real atoll with a solid surface. And this is very frightening to modern scientists who believe that soon the littered areas will become whole continents.
More recently, the public was shocked by thethe fact that in the Maldives, where the tourism industry is extremely developed, too much rubbish is formed. Luxury hotels do not sort it for further processing, as required by the rules, but are unloaded into a single heap. Some boaters who do not want to wait for a turn to dump waste simply throw them into the water, and what remains remains on the artificially created Tilafushi garbage island, which turned into a city dump.
This corner, which does not resemble paradise, is locatednear the capital of the Maldives. Over a place different from the usual resorts, where residents are trying to find things that are suitable for sale, a cloud of black smog from the fires with rubbish hung. The landfill extends towards the sea, and a serious pollution of the waters has already begun, and the government has not solved the problem of garbage disposal. There are tourists who come to Tilafushi specifically to look at the man-made disaster near.
In 2012, specialists from the Institute of OceanographyScripps explored the polluted places off the coast of California and found that in just forty years the amount of garbage increased by a hundred times. And this state of affairs is very worrisome for researchers, because there is a high probability that there will come a time when it will be impossible to fix anything.
No country in the world is ready to clean upcontaminated sites, and Charles Moore confidently stated that it is capable of ruining even the richest state. The garbage island in the Pacific Ocean, whose photo arouses fear for the future of the planet, is in neutral waters, and it turns out that the floating trash is a draw. In addition, it is not only very expensive, but also practically impossible, because small plastic particles have the same size as plankton, and those networks that could separate garbage from small marine inhabitants have not yet been developed. And what to do with waste that for many years have settled on the bottom, no one knows.
Scientists warn that it is possible to preventgetting waste into the water, if people are not able to clear the garbage islands in the ocean. Photos of huge landfills force every inhabitant of the Earth to think about the conditions under which his children and grandchildren will exist. You should minimize the consumption of plastic, take it for processing, clean up after yourself, and only then people will be able to preserve Mother Nature and those unique monuments that she gave us.</ p>