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Ocean Plastic Projected to Triple Within Seven Years

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If we don't act now, plastic pollution in the world's oceans is projected to increase three-fold within seven years, according to a startling new report . The Future of the Sea report, released Wednesday for the UK government, found that human beings across the globe produce more than 300 million metric tons of plastic per year. Unfortunately, a lot of that material ends up in our waters, with the total amount of plastic debris in the sea predicted to increase from 50 million metric tons in 2015 to 150 million metric tons by 2025. Roughly 70 percent of all marine litter is plastic, and the effect of this non-biodegradable waste can be devastating for marine biodiversity . "There is extensive evidence that entanglement in, or ingestion of, plastics can cause injury and death to a wide range of marine organisms, including commercially important fish and shellfish," the report says. The...
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The great Pacific garbage patch is even trashier than we thought

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Plastic is everywhere, from our homes and everyday lives all the way up to the illusorily pristine Arctic. The oceans are no exception—our high seas are accumulating plastic just as fast as we can push it out into the world . In a new paper in Scientific Reports, researchers found that the infamous great Pacific garbage patch contains 16 times more plastic than previous estimates showed, and it seems to be increasing over time. The great Pacific garbage patch is one of six areas of the ocean known to accumulate plastic, located in the north Pacific Ocean. While there is a lot of plastic there, the debris aren’t clumped together like some floating landfill. Instead, the plastics (many of them broken down into teeny tiny pieces) are distributed widely across an area of about 617,000 square miles. This particular study didn’t just trawl the zone with screens to measure the...
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5 biggest threats to our oceans - and what we can do about them

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Surfing, boating, long walks on the beach - yes, we love our oceans. And yet, we treat them horribly, even though we need them to survive. DW takes a closer look at the five biggest man-made threats to these massive bodies of water - and why we should try desperately to save the oceans while we still have a chance. 1. Depleted fish stocks Eating fish and seafood is good for our health and many people worldwide, particularly in low-income countries, rely on these important sources of protein. In the past, the number of fish and other sea creatures caught by humans could be replenished through natural reproduction. Today, however, we take out more than what nature can deliver. According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), humans extracted more than 81 million tons of fish and seafood from the oceans in 2015, an increase of 1.7 percent compared to 2014. Around 30 percent of global fish...
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World's oceans rise to hottest temperatures ever recorded 'by far'

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The world's oceans rose to the highest temperatures ever recorded "by far" in 2017, scientists have warned.  Research by a team of Chinese experts found the upper 2000 metres of ocean water were far warmer in 2017 than the previous hottest year in 2015.  The findings, published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric, show the annual electricity generation in China is 699 times smaller than the heat increase in the oceans last year.  "The long-term warming trend driven by human activities continued unabated," wrote research authors  Lijing Cheng and Jian Zhu, Writing in the Guardian , John Abraham, a professor of thermal sciences at the University of St Thomas in Minnesota, said last year's dramatic increase in temperatures made 2017 "by far" the hottest year on record for the world's oceans.  The findings also come after previous research showed greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere have risen to record high in 2017.  Last year was...
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