terça-feira, 4 de agosto de 2009

Rumo à ilha de plástico

Uma ilha, com quase três vezes o tamanho da Bahia, e quase desconhecida. Nenhuma excursão programada para lá até pouco tempo. Bem, pouca gente gostaria de ir para uma ilha de restos plásticos. Também conhecida como o grande vortex.

Expedition Sets Sail to the Great Plastic Vortex

“Plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic toys — even last year's Crocs — end up in the shifting vortex, which some scientists estimate to be twice the size of Texas. And as plastic use increases, especially in rapidly growing developing nations on the western end of the Pacific, that vortex will continue to grow. "It's huge," notes Doug Woodring, an entrepreneur and ocean conservationist in Hong Kong. But "unfortunately the ocean is a big place, and once it's out of sight, it's out of mind."

É deve ser algo impressionante uma montanha destas de restos plásticos e não detectável por radar, devido à sua densidade.

“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Eastern Garbage Patch or the Pacific Trash Vortex, is a gyre of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135° to 155°W and 35° to 42°N and estimated to be twice the size of Texas.[1] The patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastic and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre. Despite its size and density, the patch is not visible from satellite photography.” mais

Cerca de 20% do plástico que se acumula lá deve se originar de restos de embarcações, o restante é proveniente da terra.

Para quem quiser conhecer de perto, o projeto Kaisei envia dois barcos de estudo para a área. Já sairam, mas podem tentar se inscrever para a próxima.

“Project Kaisei consists of a team of innovators, scientists, environmentalists, ocean lovers, sailors, and sports enthusiasts who have come together with a common purpose. To study the North Pacific Gyre and the marine debris that has collected in this oceanic region, to determine how to capture the debris and to study the possible retrieval and processing techniques that could be potentially employed to detoxify and recycle these materials into diesel fuel. This first research expedition, scheduled for the summer of 2009, will be critical to understanding the logistics that would be needed to launch future clean-up operations and testing existing technologies that have never been utilized under oceanic conditions.” mais

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