Invisible Flow Dynamics

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The flame is lit.  The images here are all from a short video, The Hidden Complexities of the Simple Match.  Images: V. Miller, M. Tilghman, R. Hanson/Stanford Univ./

The flame is lit.
The images here are all from a short video, The Hidden Complexities of the Simple Match.
Images: V. Miller, M. Tilghman, R. Hanson/Stanford Univ./

By now, most people have heard about the vast amount of plastic that ends up in the world’s oceans, and how, once there, plastic bags, wrapping, toys, really all the stuff we make and use in this Age of Plastic, gets ground and beaten into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic until it is no longer recognizable as a human-made item, just a ever-tinier piece of material that is nonetheless non-biodegradable.

Which is one of the characteristics that makes petroleum-based plastic so very different from most other human-made utility products on the planet. It takes hundreds and thousands of years to break down the wrapping or plastic sack which we produce to be used for perhaps a few weeks or months, or even just once.

The images here show the turbulence of hot gases around a match as it is lit and then blown out – the unseen flow that takes place before our eyes, when all we see is a flame lit, and a flame extinguished.

Below is a map of the flow of ocean plastic around the world – researchers estimate the plastic refuse that was quantified and charted accounts for perhaps 1% of all ocean plastic. The rest is out there, getting up to all kinds of incendiary environmental nonsense – and while it’s right there in front of us, we are unable to see it.

Concentrations of plastic debris in surface waters of the global ocean. Colored circles indicate mass concentrations (legend on top right). The map shows average concentrations in 442 sites (1,127 surface net tows). Gray areas indicate the accumulation zones predicted by a global surface circulation model (6). Image/caption: Andrés Cózar et al./PNAS

Concentrations of plastic debris in surface waters of the global ocean. Colored circles indicate mass concentrations. The map shows average concentrations in 442 sites. Gray areas indicate the accumulation zones predicted by a global surface circulation model.
Click here for a larger image.
Image/caption: Andrés Cózar et al./PNAS

 

 

 

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/plastic-trash-piling-oceans-map-181700451.html

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