Plastic particles discovered in ice in Antarctica for the first time
Now researchers have discovered that microplastics are reaching even the most remote areas of the world. They proved it in the snows of Antarctica. And not just once: Each sample from 19 different locations contained microplastic particles.
FResearchers have detected microplastics in Antarctic snow for the first time. “It’s very sad, but finding microplastic particles in fresh snow in Antarctica highlights the scale of plastic pollution even in the most remote parts of the world,” said Alex Avis, a student at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. the study Together with many scholars.
Aves and her colleagues took samples in 2019 from 19 sites on the Ross Ice Shelf, which covers the southern half of the Ross Sea in Antarctica. The result shocked her: each sample contained microplastic particles.
This refers to synthetic, non-biodegradable polymers with a size of less than five millimeters. The research article was published Wednesday in the journal SciencecryosphereChest.
Discover 13 different types of plastic
On average, the researchers detected 29 microplastic particles per liter of melted snow. Thirteen different types of plastic have been discovered, but most are PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which is mainly used to make plastic bottles and textile fibres. In samples taken near research stations, the density of microplastics was approximately three times higher than that of samples taken from remote areas.
The particles can travel thousands of miles through the air, the researchers said, but it is likely that the human presence in Antarctica left a microplastic “footprint”. Anyway, the effects are enormous, the paper said. “The organisms of Antarctica have adapted to harsh environmental conditions over millions of years, and rapid environmental changes caused by human influence threaten the unique ecosystems of the polar regions.”
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