Thursday, January 22, 2015

Our Polluted Seas

Sailing Seas of Plastic is an interactive mapped visualization of the concentration of plastic in the world's oceans. According to the map there are 5,250 billion pieces of plastic, with a combined weight of 268,940 tonnes, adrift on the seas of the world.

This dot density map shows the estimated concentration of floating plastic in the oceans. Each dot on the map represents 20 kg of floating plastic. The estimations are based on the results of 24 survey expeditions (2007-2013) and on wind and ocean drift models.

You can also overlay the sailing tracks of the 24 survey expeditions on top of the dot map.

Do you want to know where your message in a bottle will turn up or track down the path of local floating pollution? Adrift is a Google Map that can show you how all kinds of objects drift on ocean currents.

The map uses data from observed tracks revealed by buoys in the Global Drifter Program and from other scientific research into ocean currents to predict where an object(s) will end up. Just place your rubber duck anywhere on the map (in the ocean obviously) and the map will animate where your duck is likely to drift.

Despite the whimsical use of the rubber duck this map has a very serious purpose. Plastic litter is one of the biggest problems in the oceans and the map provides a great visualization of how this litter can spread through the oceans and harm sea-life.

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