When the tsunami struck Japan earlier in the year, the country suffered a devastating loss of life and a nuclear meltdown. However it seems like it will not be the only country affected by the disaster. In July, we reported how debris from the coastline was swept into the ocean and was being carried by ocean currents towards Hawaii. We first learned that the debris would hit the west coast of North America by 2014, but scientists now believe that the 20 MILLION TONS of rubbish could hit sooner.
A team from the International Pacific Research Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa has been studying the patterns of debris flow and believe that the wreckage could hit Hawaii sooner next year than previous thought. The debris cloud is still expected to hit the entire west coast of North America by 2014, but it is then expected to ‘bounce back’ and hit Hawaii again in 2016 devastating natural habitats for a second time.
“We have a rough estimate of 5 to 20 million tons of debris coming from Japan,” University of Hawaii researcher Jan Hafner told press. “(The crew) saw some pieces of furniture, some appliances, anything that can float – and they picked up a fishing boat.”
We guess if it gives Hawaii’s environmental groups more time to mobilize, then it is a good thing, but it is clear that the environmental impact of the debris cloud is set to be detrimental to the island’s ecosystems.