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Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up

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From flickr.com: plastic_turtle | Stefan Leijon | Flickr799 Ã-- 566 - 217k -
plastic_turtle | Stefan Leijon | Flickr799 -- 566 - 217k - jpg
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"The world’s oceans are littered with trillions of pieces of plastic —  and now this seaborne junk is making its way into the Arctic. A study shows that a major ocean current is carrying bits of plastic to the Greenland and Barents seas, and leaving them there. This particular part of the ocean is important in the thermohaline circulation , a deepwater global current dictated by differences in temperature and salinity around the world. As that current brings warm surface water up to the Arctic, it brings with it plastic waste from more densely populated coastlines, dumping the now-fragmented pieces of plastic in the Arctic, where landmasses like Greenland and the polar ice cap trap them. Plastic pollution has made its way into the food chain8 million tons of plastic gets into the ocean; scientists estimate that there is as much as 110 million tons of plastic trash in the ocean."

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At www.nytimes.com

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