No Respite For Pacific Ocean From Pollution

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen and James Hutton Institute in the UK have shocked the world by discovering chemical pollutants in deepest zones of the Pacific Ocean.
In Mariana trench – one of the deepest zones of the Pacific Ocean that is 10,994m below the surface, scientists have found levels of contamination in marine organisms that rival some of the most polluted waterways in the world. The findings, recently presented in the ‘Nature Ecology and Evolution’ journal, contradict previous thought that oceans’ deepest trenches were untouched by human influence.
The recent researches suggest that different parts of the ocean may be far more interconnected than previously thought. It means dangerous forms of pollution may be pervasive even in the most remote places.
The researchers focussed mainly on two specific types of chemical pollutants: Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs). The two pollutants may cause adverse health effects, including neurological, immune and reproductive issues and even cancer in humans. The researchers also found that PCBs and PBDEs were present in amphipods, or tiny shrimp-like crustaceans, at all depths samples – up to 10,000m deep. To get an idea of how deep it is, we have to consider the height of Burj Khalifa (830m), the final resting depth of Titanic (3,800m), the height of Mount Everest (8,848m) and the common cruising altitude (10,668m) of commercial airlines.
Now, the question is: how did the pollutants sink so deep? It is suspected that the chemicals in the Mariana trench originated around the great Pacific garbage patch, a swirling mass of debris in the north Pacific. According to researchers, the highest observed concentrations of PCBs in the Mariana trench are about 50 times greater than the levels found in crabs living near China’s Liaohe River – one of the Asian country’s most polluted waterways. They are of the opinion that contaminants, which start out on the surface of the ocean, can easily sink to the deepest places within a few months.
It is indeed a cause for worry, as these are bombshell results, given that the deep sea is often thought of as one of the world’s last pristine places, mostly out of the reach of human influence. The international community needs to protect oceans, as oceans not only regulate temperature, but also generate half the oxygen we breathe, precisely the ecosystem.



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