In the depths of the Arctic has increased the number of plastic waste Facts
Conducting monitoring of the deep seas of the Arctic, the scientists found that contamination with plastic and other debris in them exceeds the level of contamination of the coastal marine canyon near the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.
Experts gave this conclusion on the basis of 2100 photos taken at the bottom of the Arctic Fram Strait around deep observatory Hauzgarten owned Wegener Institute. Strait is a sea route connecting the Greenland and the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. Photographs were taken in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2011. The observatory is located at a depth of 2.5 km, and rises above the sea floor by 1.5 meters and is able to take pictures every 30 seconds.
Looking through the pictures, the researchers found that each year of plastic trash in the bottom of the sea is increasing. Thus, the debris were visible only 1% of the shots in 2002, basically it was plastic. In pictures 2011 pictures of garbage are already 2%. Perhaps, for some, such figures may seem insignificant, but for the waters that are considered remote and inaccessible, have doubled the rates of contamination in just 10 years is considered a very negative trend.
Until quite difficult to talk about the origin of debris in the channel, but the researchers believe that this has to do with the sharp melting ice in the waters around Greenland. No ice clears the way for ships previously not able to take advantage of the Strait because of ice cover. The more ships floats on the sea, the greater the probability of getting into a waste. So, around Spitsbergen increased number of private yachts and fishing boats (36-fold) compared with the period before 2007.
It turned out that about 70% of plastic waste begins to interfere with the peaceful existence of deep living organisms. The photo found pieces of plastic, nestled in marine sponges. Anemones and sea lilies are beginning to settle on a rubber beer bottles and cartons. The sharp edges of plastic debris can injure animals, litter in their digestive tract, they cause improper functioning and reproduction of living beings. And many types of plastic are highly toxic. Plastic bags covering the seabed disturbed gas exchange in those places to which they have fallen, down to oxygen deficiency in sandy sediments, some organisms habitat.
For deep water Arctic dangerous and that, due to lower temperatures and small doses of sunlight are plastic decomposes less intense compared to the North Sea, for example, this means that the period of the negative impact increases to several hundred years.