Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Plastic Pollution Underestimated, Say Scientists

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Plastic Pollution Underestimated, Say Scientists

Article excerpt

There's more plastic polluting the world's oceans than previously thought, according to a new study. Earlier studies failed to include the role of wind.

Tiny, confetti-sized pieces of plastic litter the world's oceans, and it's not a pretty picture for marine life.

But before scientists can assess the damage caused by plastic pollution, they need to determine how much of this junk is out there.

A new study indicates that past estimates of marine plastic waste have been too low. Previous studies did not include the effects of wind on plastic particles in the water.

"By factoring in the wind, which is fundamentally important to the physical behavior, you're increasing the rigor of the science and doing something that has a major impact on the data," Giora Proskurowski, an oceanographer at the University of Washington and one of the new study's authors, said in a press release.

Proskurowski and his team collected samples at several depths ranging from the surface to 100 feet down. …

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