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Ocean Modeling

Plastics Adrift

Simulated models of how plastics are transported in the global ocean show that most plastics concentrate in the middle of subtropical gyres (left). However, large-scale ocean circulation systems such as the Gulf Stream, the North Atlantic Current, and the Norwegian Current are carrying the litter all the way up to the Arctic (right). WHOI scientists have launched a long-term, interdisciplinary research initiative  to better understand where microplastics—plastic fragments smaller than five millimeters—end up in the global ocean. Illustration by Sam Levang, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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