A massive island of trash and debris twice the size of Texas that is leftover from the earthquake in Japan is drifting in the Pacific Ocean current, where it is said to be heading toward California, before making its way to our Hawaiian Islands.
It has been quite some time since Japan suffered one of the deadliest earthquakes on record. However, all this time later and we are still seeing the after effects of what the earthquake left behind. With more than 15,000 people dead and over 130,000 homeless, new worries now turn towards the trash and debris floating in the Pacific Ocean.
Scientist from the University of Hawaii have been building models and maps in hopes to predict where the island of trash and debris would eventually end up. Up until recently, they were not even sure that such a mass of trash existed, but reports from several fishing vessels have us now looking into what type of damage this trash field could really cause
The new report put out by MSNBC, which you can watch below, has images of the trash field. They are claiming that millions of tons of trash and debris will not only make landfall in California, but is expected to turn toward Hawaii in the future.
How big is the debris field? After looking at images of the debris field from the sky, scientists have estimated that the current trash and debris field that is floating in the Pacific current is twice the size of Texas, or in other words, massive!
US Navy ships, fishing vessels, and other ships have had to steer around the field of trash. Since there is so much of it, there is fear that some of the trash and debris could do serious damage to the ships themselves.
Not only is the trash harmful to ships, but the effects that the trash field has on the ocean ecosystem is not good. The televisions, washing machines, refrigerators and other like appliances carry harmful chemicals that are going to damage the marine life and ocean habitats more than they already are.
The trash field is moving much faster than originally thought as well. According to estimates, it will hit the Midway Islands sometime in January of 2012. After that, the trash field is expected to make its way to the West Coast of America, landing there in 2013, before finally heading back out and arriving in Hawaii in 2014 – 2015.
There is one thing that scientist are stressing. The full amount of trash is not expected to hit Hawaii all at once, but rather over an extended amount of time. Could this actually be worse?
At first thought this seems like a long time away, and while 2014 – 2015 is a few years from now, the main concern is that the trash field will indeed hit the islands of Hawaii, and when it does, what are we going to do? How does Hawaii survive a trash field twice as big as Texas?
So what are some solutions? Well as of right now government scientists and other officials are asking West Coast and Hawaii residents to help them track the field of trash and debris. You can learn more about that by visiting the NBC Nightly News website.
This is a developing story that could have some potential devastating and long lasting effects on Hawaii. Maybe a government clean up crew is needed to at least go out to the trash field and try to clean some of it up. There is a window of opportunity to get something done, however moves need to be made now, otherwise Hawaii and the West Coast could be in for a messy development.