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How much garbage is actually in our oceans?

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 11:31 AM

One of the many lessons learned in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, our oceans are FULL of garbage.

"I was not surprised to hear about finding all this debris because it is really a global issue," Philippe Van Cappellen, professor at the University of Waterloo told The Weather Network. "There's debris in all oceans, even in the most remote areas of the planet."

According to Van Cappellen, currents play a huge role in where a lot of the garbage ends up and can be linked to gyre systems.

"So the gyres are systems of currents that rotate in the same general direction in a large marine basin or ocean basin. And in the northern hemisphere these gyres move clockwise and in the southern ocean they move counterclockwise," Van Cappellen says. "So when garbage enters the gyre system it moves along with the surface currents. But there's also a general tendency for the debris to then accumulate in the centre of the gyres."

Extra food for thought: we know about surface debris, but we have very little information about the amount of garbage at the bottom of our oceans.

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