CSIRO: 14 million tonnes of microplastics on sea floor

Published: October 7, 2020

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), an Australian government agency has recently found that the world sea floor is littered with more than 14 million tonnes of microplastics. These microplastics have entered the floor Through The breakdown of masses of rubbish entering the oceans annually.

Key findings

The Australian National Science agency has found that the tiny pollutants we of the South Australian coast.re 25 times greater than that of the the previous localised studies. This is the first time the sea floor microplastic study has been carried out.

The researchers used robotic submarine to collect samples at depth of 3000 metres.

Scientists found that the microplastic pieces on the ocean floor was higher in areas where there were more floating rubbish in the water above.

What are microplastics?

They are small pieces of plastic that are of size 5 mm or less. They are mostly derived from the breaking down of larger plastic items.

How do microplastics reach Ocean bed?

The microplastics are transported to the ocean bed by Deep sea currents. The plastics can sink down to the ocean bed once they are quoted in Algae.

How are microplastics harmful?

Though the microplastics get accumulated on the the sea floor bed, they can be dangerous to Marine organisms. This is because the ocean currents are the main source of oxygenated water and nutrients to see floor Hotspots. These currents deposit nutrients Carried a long way and thereby  help developing deep sea floor hotspots and deep sea coral reefs. As the microplastics increase in the ocean water the currents tend to carry these harmful  substances along with nutrients and silt. Eventually the microorganisms end up ingesting these microplastics and slowly the particular hotspot begins to deteriorate.

 Background

The great Ocean garbage patches have become common lately. These are just 1% of of the 10 million tons of plastic waste being dumped into the sea annually. The rest of the 99 percentage of plastic waste are broken down into microplastics.

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