The vastness of the oceans had once lulled mankind into a false sense of safety with little knowledge that the capacity of oceans to take garbage and refuse is not infinite. The plastics have compounded the problem still further. Plastic pollution in the oceans is killing fish, birds and sea turtles. The great Pacific Garbage Patch was discovered in 1997 and the question, who’s flushing all the plastic pollution into the oceans?
The great Pacific Garbage is a collection of marine debris located in the North Pacific Ocean. The high-pressure area between the U.S. states of Hawaii and California is the precipitating factor for the Pacific Garbage phenomenon. The area lies in then centre of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, which is a circular ocean currents which has been formed by Earth wind patterns and the forces created by the rotation of Earth. The middle of the gyre is very calm. The circular motion of the Gyre pulls in the debris into the center. A similar garbage patch exists in the Atlantic Ocean, in the North Atlantic Gyre.
The movement of the gyre also stops the garbage from escaping. Most of the material which are accumulating in the Pacific Garbage are not biodegradable and they simply breakdown into smaller pieces.
A recent model has proved that pollution can cross the boundaries between oceans and its five gyres.
Modeler and mathematician Gary Froyland told NBC News “The breaking of the geographic ocean boundaries should shift the way people think of where oceans begin and end. The interactions that we’ve shown between the different oceans shows that no ocean is isolated and those local effects can have impacts far from the source.”
Froyland and two colleagues at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, explained their model in a paper published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Chaos.
The team used the ergodic theory which is mainly used to study interconnectedness. The team separated the entire ocean into in to seven regions with very little mixing of their waters. When the team refined their projections with existing ocean circulation models they found that the Pacific and Indian oceans are actually most closely coupled to the south Atlantic. Parts of Indian Ocean belonged to the Pacific Ocean.