Captain Charles Moore and his team of oceanographers in Algalita Marine Research Center, based in Long Beach, CA produced Our Synthetic Sea in the 1990’s. The researchers concluded small plastic nodules outnumbered sources of marine food (usually tiny marine organisms called plankton) by a margin of 6:1.
After viewing the disturbing video I shared it with local friends. One young man I had known since his childhood refused to believe that 6:1 plastic over plankton conclusion. When I offered the copy of Our Synthetic Sea for his private viewing, my gesture of scientific proof was rejected. No parent wants their children to inherit such an ocean. Protection of children is not a reason for rejecting proof of threats to everyone’s future. As the ocean goes, so goes all life on Earth.
Half of Earth’s declining oxygen supply comes from ocean going plankton. There is an abundance of information on the decline in oxygen for all who call Earth – “home”.
In 2008 researchers returned to the same remote Pacific region to discover the ratio of plastic to marine food had increased dramatically from 6:1 to 46:1. Within one decade, “plastification” of our ocean had increased nearly eight times. International search for a missing Malaysian airplane was an educational venture for pilots and mariners who came across pieces in the ocean that could have been parts of the downed jet plane. They were plastic junk, not pieces of a lost plane.
Jacques Costeau wrote a column for THE NEW YORK TIMES in 1971 warning “(H)umans now have the capacity to ruin the entire ocean.” Costeau might have envisioned two double-hull oil tankers colliding in the North Sea or an ill-fated collision of a tanker with oil and one iceberg the size of Manhattan floating aimlessly in the Atlantic. Who could imagine that plastic, as a by-product of petroleum would overwhelm ¾ of Earth’s surface in less than 100 years?
Sylvia Earle (“Her Deepness” for having spent long hours exploring the ocean depths and discovering plastic litters the ocean floor) and Marcus Eriksen, PhD, founder of www.5gyres.org were invited by Tulane University to present their findings on Feb. 21st & 22nd, 2014. Both scientists presented power-point programs on threats to our ocean.
Increasing acidification since the Industrial ice age and heavy reliance upon fossil fuels has been a strident warming from scientists for decades. Savante Auguste Arrhenius issued a warning about excessive use of fossil fuels in 1890. He repeated the warning in 1905. The multi-billion dollar tourism industry knows coral reefs have been dying from acidification for decades. Unless something is done to reverse this trend, tourism will die along with the graying reefs.
A small book entitled Our Sacred Ocean Is Suffering Now by my humble self is available from Vesuvius Press, or from my web site. – www.vichummert.org The book explains how jellyfish are inheriting an ocean dying from *acidification and*plastification.
We will not survive without oxygen and a warming ocean that has limitations in patience.