Saturday, August 08, 2009

Ocean plastic study--watch it as it happens

Are you dismayed by reports of plastic garbage in the ocean? Wanna peak over the shoulders of scientists as they explore and study the problem? Here's your chance to watch science unfold in real time.

In case you haven't yet heard about the problem of plastic in the ocean, here's a nice CNN story on Seaplex, including a little bit of debunking. The plastic accumulation is NOT a giant floating island or anything so dramatic. It's a lot of plastic, but even in the middle of it, you might not see anything visible to a human eye while standing on the deck of a boat. What is the reality, what's the hype?

Go to Seaplex Science's website or twitter feed to watch the action as it happens. Poke my friend Miriam Goldstein as she leads the expedition and drags the scientific world, kicking and screaming, towards real-time reporting of results.

Wow, I'm on the edge of my seat. And hey, isn't that a giant vampire squid?!

View SEAPLEX in a larger map


Anonymous said...

I sailed to Hilo Hawaii from San Francisco in mid-June. We saw plastic continuously! Other stuff too like flourescent light tubes. I did numerous of transect counts using my GPS to log the average distance of 10 pieces of visible plastic from the deck of a 38 foot catamaran and within 30 feet of one side. I got 3.6 nm or 1 visible piece of plastic for every 64, 800 sq feet of ocean surface.

RainFern said...

Thanks for the great link!

Humans can get along just fine without plastic! What is our deal???

Great Post!

Aaron said...

Nancy Rabalais's group at LUMCON has done real time reporting of their annual mid-summer hypoxia cruise in the Northern Gulf of Mexico for the last year or two. I think you can find the details if you go searching around the recent news section of the website.

Miriam Goldstein said...

Thanks so much, Mark!