The Beacon

Blog Tags: Microplastics

Ocean Roundup: Deep Sea Sediments Act as Microplastic Sinks, Risso’s Dolphins Stranding in High Numbers, and More

Risso's dolphins are stranding in elevated numbers in Tasmania

A Risso’s dolphin. These dolphins have been stranding in high numbers along Tasmania. (Photo: Images by John 'K' / Flickr Creative Commons)

- A federal report released this week found that temperatures in the Arctic are warming at twice the rate of those in lower latitudes. The report also discussed how these temperature and sea ice changes are negatively impacting polar bear populations and fish migrations. The Washington Post


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Photos: On International Coastal Cleanup Day, Five Ways to Help the Oceans

International Coastal Cleanup day is on September 20

Oceana in Belize picking up trash on World Oceans Day this past summer. (Photo: Alexander Ellis / Oceana in Belize)

Marine debris has become a major issue facing the oceans today. It’s estimated that 10 to 20 million tons of plastic trash make their way to the ocean each year through a number of pathways, like litter, runoff, and direct dumping. In a recent study, scientists found plastic debris in 88 percent of ocean surface water samples.


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Ocean News: June 2014 Marked the Hottest on Record, Microplastics Worse for Crabs than Thought, and More

A shore crab (Carcinus maenas)

A shore crab (Carcinus maenas) captured during an Oceana expedition to the Baltic Sea. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

- In 1997, nearly 4.8 million pieces of Legos spilled into the Atlantic when a container ship was hit by a massive wave. These Lego pieces—many of them sea-themed like octopus—are still washing up on beaches in the United Kingdom nearly 20 years after the spill. BBC News


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Ocean News: Humpbacks Delight Onlookers with Rare Double Breach, Scotland’s Puffins See a Successful Season, and More

Puffins on the Farne Islands in the UK. (Photo: John Sargent / Flickr Creative Commons)

- Two leading scientists on microplastics have called for urgent action to reduce and eliminate them from the marine environment. The scientists stressed that little is known about these particulates, such as what effect they have on the seafloor and where they’re most commonly found. EurekAlert


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Arctic Ice Melt Could Unlock Trillions of Frozen Microplastics

Marine debris in the Arctic

Marine debris in Norway. (Photo: Bo Eide / Flickr Creative Commons)

Out of the nearly 300 million tons of plastic created in 2012, nearly 10 percent of it ended up in oceans, according to Phys.org. That trash has to go somewhere — washing onto coastlines and estuaries, or floating in the vast ocean. You may have heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area within the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre where an enormous amount of trash circulates.


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