There’s 14 million metric tons of microplastics sitting on the seafloor, study finds

We know that there are big pieces of plastic floating in the ocean: plastic bags, plastic cups, plastic straws, plastic bottles, “ghost gear” (abandoned fishing nets and other equipment), etc. We know that these big pieces break down into smaller pieces floating in the ocean. But it gets even worse:

There’s 14 million metric tons of microplastics sitting on the seafloor, study finds

Justine Barrett from CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere who led the study, said in a statement that, “Even the deep ocean is susceptible to the plastic pollution problem.”

“Plastic pollution that ends up in the ocean deteriorates and breaks down, ending up as microplastics,” she said. “The results show microplastics are indeed sinking to the ocean floor.”

Scientists have called plastic litter “one of this generation’s key environmental challenges” and the problem is an internationally recognized environmental issue. Plastic is a persistent pollution that hurts wildlife, the ocean itself and there’s growing concern about the potential health risks it poses to humans.

It is difficult (but possible) to imagine somehow filtering floating plastic bits out of the water. Maybe we can invent enormous robot whale sharks that do it. The problem is so immense though that we would need a million of these robots.

But filtering plastic out of ocean sediments? How do we do that? Maybe we invent another robot, but still… The disruption to the ocean environment will be immense, and the robot will need to sort the plastic bits out of the sand and mud bits.

The article points out that the problem will only gets worse. And then you watch videos like this and see immensity of the problem in underdeveloped countries:

Kinshasa residents fed up of ‘rivers’ of plastic waste

Fixing this doomsday problem will take a massive worldwide effort, and this is just one of the doomsday problems humanity faces.

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can order the book today on Amazon and other retailers.

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