Research

In the Arctic, it snows with particles of plastic

We have repeatedly written that plastic representsa serious threat to life on Earth. So, a large half of the inhabitants of the deep sea and ocean, including plankton, feed on microplastics. In the world press regularly there are reports of animals in whose stomachs kilograms of plastic have been found. However, the problems do not end there. Scientists have discovered that snow in the Arctic falls with particles of plastic. But how is this possible?

What is happening with the Arctic?

Due to global warming, the Arctic is rapidlyloses ice. But the Arctic accounts for about 10 percent of all ice reserves on Earth. Despite the fact that the amount of ice is constantly changing depending on the time of the year, the World Meteorological Organization has estimated that over the past 30 years, the Arctic Ocean has lost 95 percent of its long-term ice.

It turns out that the territory of the Arctic for one2017 lost about 260 thousand square kilometers of ice. Melting Arctic ice threatens the life of the Polar Bears listed in the Red Book. Among other things, it affects the rise in sea level and affects the climate throughout the planet.

A bit gloomy predictions: Will we all die from ice? Antarctica is melting before our eyes

And if for a long time scientists thought that melting ice was the only problem in the Arctic, it turned out that plastic pollution got to it.

How did the plastic get into the snow?

The work of German and Swiss scientists publishedin The Journal of Science Advances. Researchers were shocked by the detected amount of microscopic plastic particles in arctic snow samples. There were about 10 thousand particles per liter. Write in our Telegram chat whether this is a lot in your opinion.

Until now, it was believed that the Arctic is one offew regions on Earth not contaminated with plastic. Lead author of the study, Dr. Melanie Bergman, expected to detect a certain amount of plastic particles in the samples, but not 10 thousand particles per liter. According to Dr. Bergman, microplastic particles fell into the Arctic snow from the air.

What is microplastic?

Microplastic is considered to be particles of sizeno more than 5 mm. Scientists have long known that the planet’s air is contaminated with microscopic plastic particles. However, how much these particles contained in the air are dangerous to health and whether they are dangerous at all, scientists can not say.

Some particles in arctic snow samplesThe plastic turned out to be so small that scientists could not understand their origin. Researchers also took snow samples from Germany and Switzerland. It turned out that urban snow contains much more plastic than arctic.

By the way, sea ice also contains plastic and itvery bad. Read about these and other news in our channel in Yandex.Zen. To discuss whether there were places on the Earth that were not touched by plastic, you can in the comments.