Chelsea Rochman, American Association, Berkshire Science discussed on Science for the People
Hi, everyone. Just a quick note about today show. It is a live show and the meeting for the American Association for the advancement of science is loud and proud. So please don't mind. The crowd noise. We promise our guest this week are worth it. We've snagged three amazing experts to talk about micro-plastics rafting barnacles and bird poop because science with people. There's always room for bird coop. Okay. So we're about to get started. And the way this works for all the people who are enjoying science. When people the first time signs of people is an interview only podcast. And so I'm going to give an introduction. And then I'm going to start asking these fabulous scientists questions about classics, and it's going to be depressing. Amazing, and I brought this plastic coffee, and I feel bad or any? I'm just gonna don't don't look. Okay. So welcome to our science who the people live show. Thank you. I'm bethany. Berkshire science writer at science news and society for science and the public today. I am delighted to be here on the podcasting stage at the American Association for the events of science. And we've got the invitation to record a live show here. I just started digging through the program, and it's it's so wonderful to be here. It's like an embarrassment of riches in terms of content. But a couple of the sessions really stood out to me and all of those were on plastics. We are surrounded by plastics right now, they're plastics in my coffee there plastics in our smartphones. They're plastics in the chairs you are sitting on the close. We are wearing it. Plastic wrapped the food you probably ate for lunch. If you ate lunch, please eat lunch, and that classic eventually ends up in the environment. And as scientists have found a truly shocking about of it ends up in the ocean. When a lot of us think of ocean, plastics, we might think of like whole plastic bottles and tennis rackets, and I don't know boats. Big chunks, but a lot of the plastic in the ocean is actually way smaller than that. These plastics are micro-plastics which are smaller than five millimeters in size. That's about how. The size of a LEGO give or take I should've brought my goes, but small plastics can have big effects. So today, we're going to talk about plastics in the water where they're going. How much there is how we track it. What on earth we need to do about it? And I'll just go ahead and tell you guys right now that they found plastic in the beer, so we'll start there. To to cover this incredibly depressing topic. I'm here with Jennifer, Jennifer, Provan, sure, Chelsea Rochman, and Christina Simpkin. Jennifer provider is unit head of the wildlife health group at the Canadian Wildlife Service Chelsea Rochman is an aquatic ecologist at the university of Toronto and Christina. Some cannon is a marine ecologist at the Smithsonian environmental research center. Thank you so much for being here. Even though I know here's another session on plastics right now when I'm sorry. Thank you for having us. So I wanted to start a little bit with the scale of the problem. Chelsea do. We know how much plastic is in the ocean by weight or volume or tanker trucks Wales. So measure, we don't know how much plastic is in the ocean. In terms of in general, we have some estimates of how much is floating on the surface of the ocean. And we have estimates of how much enters the ocean every year. So the number that we're often given is that we estimate and this comes from Jamba. Wchs work that eight million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean each year. And so the elephants are the blue whales is that if we lined people up along all the coastlines around the world shoulder to shoulder, and they all had five plastic bags, and they threw them all in at the same time. That's how much enters every year..