Wednesday, September 26, 2012

1.5 million new species discovered during 'health check-up' of world's oceans


A research ship has discovered more than one million new species after trawling through the Atlantic, Pacific, Southern and Indian oceans.

The creatures will be unveiled tonight at a special exhibition at the Science Museum in London, after the ship docked back into London last week.
The team say the discoveries could change our understanding of climate change's impact on the world's oceans - and said their journey showed just how vulnerable the sea is due to man's actions.
More than 30,000 samples of sea water were taken from a variety of spots across the planet, which led to the discovery of 1.5million species - ranging from the relatively large - 1cm in length - to the small, measuring just fractions of a millimetre.
The research provides a snapshot of marine micro-organisms - but points out how much plastic we dump in the ocean, with up to 50,000 plastic fragments per square mile within the Atlantic.
These plastics will not break down for hundreds of thousands of years, and can enter the food chain through fish, seabirds and other marine animals. The toxins can poison the ocean, and also find their way into humans through seafood.


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