There are six floating islands of plastic in the oceans: two in the Pacific, two in the Atlantic, one in the Indian Ocean and a smaller one recently identified in the Arctic Ocean. The plastic comes largely from the mainland, is gathered by the play of currents and winds and covers large marine surfaces with obvious consequences from an environmental point of view. Now some scholars have discovered with complicated statistical and computational analyzes how plastic objects follow certain paths to form what scientists have now called Garbage Patch and an Italian artist – provocatively – has decided to make it a state complete with a passport .
Published on Chaos (interdisciplinary journal of non-linear science) by a group led by the expert in physics of fluids Philippe Miron of the University of Miami – who also dealt with the possible trajectory of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which mysteriously disappeared on March 8, 2014 in the Indian ocean and never found again – the method analyzes the trajectories in which debris is transported from the coasts to the garbage patches in the middle of the oceans in relation to the different strength of the rotary currents acting in the subtropical areas. Researchers, including Francisco Beron-Vera of the Miami Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Berlin University mathematicians Luzie Helfmann and Peter Koltai, also used historical data from ocean buoys.
The mathematical model
The mathematical model identified “a transition channel connecting the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with the East Asian coast,” Miron explained. Confirming “the important source of plastic pollution” of Asian origin. It also confirmed that the Indian Ocean vortex acts as a “trap” for plastic, other important deposits have in fact been found in the Bay of Bengal. In the Atlantic, on the other hand, plastics are more easily captured in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Africa. The South Pacific vortex is the most persistent, as trapped plastics “are very difficult to escape.” The work of these scholars may have important implications for ongoing ocean cleansing.
March 6, 2021 (change March 7, 2021 | 15:48)