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Polluting substances may cause changes in the physical–chemical environment, for example, in temperature, salinity, pH, gas content, chemistry, colour, or turbidity of the water, which in turn may influence the marine life in different ways. They may also cause direct damage to organisms, for example, on physiological processes, including alimentation and reproduction, after having reached a certain threshold concentration. Pollutants have spread enormously, especially since the early 1950s, and no part of the seas, even at great depths, seems now to be completely free from them. Nobody knows how many pollutants are there, but already the pertinent new chemical compounds can be counted in tens of thousands. This chapter provides a schematic picture of the present-day pollution of the oceans. The most disturbed areas are generally located outside the industrialized land areas, from which pollutants are carried out directly through runoff and through sewers or indirectly through rivers and the atmosphere. However, there is also a certain contamination of the remaining sea areas, because of the long-distance transport of pollutants by water and air currents. © 1981, Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved




Dybern, B. I., & Fonselius, S. H. (1981). Pollution. Elsevier Oceanography Series, 30(C), 351–381. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0422-9894(08)70144-2

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