There are many major pollution events that have and are happening all over the world. Some of these events include the Exxon Valdez Disaster in Prince William Sound, the Citarum River in West Java, Indonesia, and the Yellow River in Lanzhou, China. However, I am going to talk about the two have picked stood out to me the most, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and The Aral Sea.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch consists of a huge amount of garbage or debris that have collected in the North Pacific Ocean. This patch of garbage extends from North Americas West Coast to Japan. This particular garbage patch includes the Western Garbage patch that is close to Japan and the Eastern Garbage Patch that is in-between California and Hawaii. Most of the trash and debris collect in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch because is mostly consists of non-biodegradable items such as plastic which breaks down into smaller pieces versus waring down into the environment, which is in-tern bad for the marine life in the North Pacific Ocean. When people here the term garbage patch they picture and big floating island in the middle of the ocean. However, this is not the case, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made up tons of small pieces of plastic which alone is not very visible to the human eye. If one was to look at a satellite image of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, instead of seeing a huge mound of trash in the ocean, they will see patches of cloudy looking water, which makes up The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The second event I am talking about is somewhat opposite of The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it is The Aral Sea.
The Aral Sea is located between North Uzbekistan and South Kazakhstan and was once the fourth largest Salt Lake. However, in the 1960’s the Soviet Union change the path of the two rivers feeding the lake, the Amu Darya, and the Syr Darya, to try to irrigate the desert land around the lake to potentially support agriculture. The water that was contained in this lake is not being drained out by other rivers, it is simply evaporating, and the concentration of salt in the water is greatly increasing causing it to be even more un-usable. The human health impacts are extremely high do to the simple re-guiding of the water flowing to the lake. Children who live in the area are faced with the possibility of skin lesions, growth retardation, heart disease, kidney disease, and the list goes on. Another big effect is the lack of water in the area for locals. The water is quickly disappearing and the little water left, as I mentioned earlier, has increased majorly in the salt concentration.