Biodiversity: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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1. It is a scientific fact that biodiversity is greatest near coral reefs and estuaries. But because of human influence coral reefs around the world are dying. Human coastal development, pollution, ocean warming, and ocean acidification are all things that threaten them. The World Research Institute estimated that about ¾ of the worlds shallow reefs are threatened by climate change, pollution, and overfishing. All in which are man made influences that affect the ocean greatly. It is predicted that by the year 2050 90% of the coral reefs on earth will be dead or threatened. Not only that but soil erosion, algae growth from fertilizer runoff, increased UV exposure, and damage from fishing and diving are just adding to the problem. However, the…show more content…
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is just one example of how trash can accumulate together in the ocean. The science behind this phenomenon can be traced back to the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone. This area is where warm water from the South Pacific and cool water from the Arctic converge. It is like suction trail that moves debris from one end to another. However, without the currents from the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre the patch would just float away. It is because of these currents that keeps it grounded and in place. The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is created by the interaction of the California, North Equatorial, Kuroshiro, and North Pacific currents. These four currents move in a clockwise direction to generate a sort of vacuum that brings in debris from places like California or Japan. It is able to accumulate like this because the traces of debris are generally non biodegradable plastics which tend not to dissipate. In fact what we see on the surface might not even be the worst of it. It is said that 70% of all marine debris sinks to the ocean floor which just makes matters worse for the local marine life located in the convergence…show more content…
Invasive species in any given environment have the potential to mess up with the entire food web or life cycle in a given area. Because invasive species are foreign and not natural a change in the norm can result in a species being totally killed off, or growing uncontrollably. For example, a freshwater mussel know as the zebra mussel was introduced by ships coming back from Europe and now are widespread in the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. This leads to clogging irrigation pipes and the reduce food availability for larval fish. Another example, would be lionfish. They are originally native to the Pacific, but managed to find their way to the Atlantic likely due to humans. However, because of their transition they have very few predators. They are carnivores that feed on small crustaceans and fish, and due to them being in the Atlantic many native fish species populations are going

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