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Continent of Trash

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The world’s horse latitudes are large areas of ocean approximately 30 degrees north and south of the equator dominated by high barometric pressure where winds are virtually nonexistent.

In the days of ships that depended on wind to sail from one place to another, these areas were avoided as much as possible as areas of no escape where ships could be floating endlessly in calm winds on a glass-like ocean.

More recently, however, these areas have become off limits to shipping because they are not navigable due to the massive amounts of plastic trash that has collected there from the refuse of the world’s modern industrial countries since the 1950s.

These areas of trash are found in all the Horse Latitudes ranging in size from a small island to as large as a small continent. One area of the Pacific has a virtual continent of trash the size of Texas where the surface is completely covered by plastic refuse. These areas are increasing in size daily as ocean currents and prevailing winds serve as collectors in bringing in more and more plastic trash daily.

In modern industrialized civilization where plastic in some form or another is used in most products we have from the home to all businesses it isn’t surprising that such huge areas of plastic trash have collected in these spots. In a world of some eight billion inhabitants all using plastic in a multitude of ways the surprise is that these trash areas are not larger than they are.

These continents of trash transform their space of ocean into areas of desert where evaporation is nonexistent and cause temperatures to rise higher than the surrounding sea surface free of the layer. These areas are large enough to affect the ecology of ocean areas more than twice their size. The cap over such a large area of the ocean surface also is responsible for a massive reduction of oxygen both in the water and the atmosphere proving to be an ecological, environmental disaster for the ocean area covered by the trash.

The ocean produces oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis by phytoplankton (single celled sea plants) and algae (multi-celled sea plants). Individual alga is much larger than plankton, the latter have a staggeringly larger biomass and so produces the most oxygen. Taking into account that Earth is primarily a water planet and phytoplankton is found throughout the ocean, it’s not surprising that they make up 90 percent of the earth’s oxygen. With this in mind and such massive areas of sea surface cut off from making oxygen by plastic trash it isn’t surprising that we find other gasses like carbon dioxide and methane increasing. This is because the earth’s main source of oxygen production is being shut down over ever increasing large areas of the sea surface.

If all these islands of plastic trash along with the percentage of ocean surface covered by crude oil from years of spills and natural seepage were placed together it would amount to an area approximately the size of North America.

In essence, the world’s largest oxygen producer is rapidly being capped off from being able to transform greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane into oxygen.

The global warming fanatics interested in cutting greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, in our society need to concentrate more on the dire situation of the growing trash and crude oil continents being formed and expanded rather than secondary less-important environmental matters here on land.


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