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Environmental Change and Management : Great Pacific Ocean Patch

Year 9 Geography

ABC News

The Pacific Ocean is the deepest, largest ocean on Earth, covering about a third of the globe's surface. An ocean that vast may seem invincible.

Yet across its reach — from Antarctica in the south to the Arctic in the north, and from Asia to Australia to the Americas — the Pacific Ocean's delicate ecology is under threat.



The Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn't one of these. This island of floating plastic trash, which as of 2018 spans roughly around 1.6 million square km, bears witness to today's throwaway culture. It highlights the lack of understanding of how seriously our daily habits can affect wildlife. So how did the Great Pacific Garbage Patch form? More importantly, how can we destroy it?


The “garbage patches,” as referred to in the media, are areas of marine debris concentration in the North Pacific Ocean, circulated by the North Pacific gyre. The gyre spreads across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the western U.S., and north-south from California to Hawaii.


It's not an island twice the size of Texas. But it is severely impacting marine life and human health... and incredibly hard to study.

Eight million tons of plastic winds up into the world’s oceans every year, much of that accumulating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. That 80,000 tons of fishing net, bottles, and other trash has more pieces of plastic than there are stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. And it’s only getting bigger.

The Great Pacific Ocean Patch

For the past several years scientists have been trying to account for the 8 million metric tonnes of plastic that we dump into the ocean each year. The assumption was that a large portion of it was floating out in one of the large garbage patches, where swirling debris accumulates thanks to ocean gyres. But recent measurements of the amount of trash in the patches fell far short of what’s thought to be out there. Scientists are getting closer to an answer, which could help clean-up efforts and prevent further damage to marine life and ocean ecosystems.

Do you know every year, humans dump more than 80 million tons of plastic into the ocean. This pollution is not only destroying marine life but also poses a serious and deadly threat to the entire ecosystem. To heal the Earth again some people dedicated their life to build new modern technology that could repair the destruction 4ocean is currently celebrating their 10 millionth pound of rubbish collected recently, so we thought we would explore and educate you on their mission to save the planet. We will also witness other fantastic innovative methods that are revolutionizing entire industries.

The Ocean Cleanup

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world and is located between Hawaii and California. Scientists of The Ocean Cleanup have conducted the most extensive analysis ever of this area.

Cool Australia

Way out in the Pacific Ocean is an area of ocean once known as the doldrums. It is an area that sailors have long avoided due a particular combination of high pressure and ocean currents that often leave it without any wind. It is here that we find the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an enormous floating mass of plastic.