General, Research, Technology

The amount of microplastics on the seabed shocked scientists

We all talk about nature being pollutedhuman waste. It really is. Around us there are many landfills that are constantly replenished. Something, bypassing landfills (or from them), falls into the ocean and floats there in the form of a garbage island, about which many have heard. And there is also microplastic, which is also widely debated, either calling it safe for health, or scaring that it is it that is most dangerous for our body and entire ecosystems of our planet. Now we will not focus on clarifying the fact of how dangerous this is, but just talk about how much microplastics are on the seabed. Looking ahead, I will say that a lot. But how much?

Microplastic in water is very dangerous, even though it is “micro”.

How trash is in the ocean

Great difficulty for trash to get to the bottomthere is no world ocean (or on its surface). Everything that enters the ocean is not just in a bowl with a fixed liquid, but literally inside a living organism that constantly moves and moves its waters. We used to call it currents.

The currents in the ocean are different. Some carry water horizontally, andsome - vertically. All this is connected with the features of the relief and climate. Sometimes we are not able to notice these trends, but to say that they are not there is wrong. They are and there are substantially more of them than we know.

What will the world be like in 2050 if climate change is not stopped?

Everyone has heard about the Gulf Stream, which creates a stream.water in the Atlantic Ocean, but there are also such currents that not a single person or even a ship will feel. But the plastic bottle, which is in no hurry, is calmly carries itself over the ocean and nails, as a rule, about the same place. So there are huge piles of garbage in the open ocean.

Such paintings frighten and oppress.

All that we left on the beach was dropped (or thrown) overboard, will drift in the ocean until it dissolves. With plastic, this will not happen very soon.

How much microplastic is at the bottom of the oceans

Not so long ago, a group of scientists from the University of Manchester published the results of their study of how and in what quantities microplastics gets to the seabed.

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For the experiment, they used specialreservoirs that simulated water flows. So they discovered a type of underwater current that carried microscopic particles of plastic from the coastal area into the ocean.

In addition to laboratory studies conductedTogether with colleagues from other research organizations, scientists took sediment samples from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea to understand how much microplastic is on it. And at the same time they could understand how microplastics appeared there and whether something can be done to stop the process of formation of this layer.

Sooner or later, it may be inside our body.

As a result, after checking and examining the assembledmaterial on special laboratory equipment, scientists concluded that how much microplastic is contained in the samples that they collected from the seabed. They also gave a figure not in grams or kilograms, but in the number of particles. It amounted to almost 2 million particles. It is difficult to say how accurate this is, but the fact that this is a lot is understandable without other exact figures.

Scientists were very surprised at this fact and noted that even famous garbage islands are not as scary as so many microplastics on the seabed.

Almost all of us have heard of the infamousislands of mountains of garbage that float in the ocean and consist mainly of plastic, but the high concentration of microplastics on the seabed surprised us very much. - says lead author of the study Ian Kane from the University of Manchester. - We found that microplastic particlesdistributed by powerful sea currents, and not distributed evenly throughout the bottom. In certain areas, they are concentrated in substantially large quantities.

What is microplastic and what does it consist of?

Among other things, scientists conducted an analysis ofwhat does microplastic consist of and what structure does it have? As a result, they concluded that the bulk of what they found was the fibers of clothing and other textiles. Most likely, they seeped through the filters of the sewage treatment plant and after that they got into the sea through wastewater. Of course, some of these wastes went directly to the sea, but still less.

So microplastic falls into the sea.

The seabed is not uniform and not constant. All due to the fact that the currents are constantly changing. As a result, the same garbage becomes not just a sediment on the seabed, but moves along with sand, vegetation, microorganisms and the remains of marine inhabitants.

Plastic, unfortunately, has become a new type of sediment, which is distributed along the seabed along with dirt, sand and nutrients, - researchers say.

Perhaps scientists can better determine howand from where particles of plastic appear on the seabed, but this will hardly be able to change the picture of the world and reduce its formation. Firstly, microplastics, which are already on the seabed, will not go anywhere for hundreds of years, and they will feed on the fish that we feed on. Secondly, it is unlikely that understanding where plastic comes from will greatly reduce its level of education. All the same, leaks and the human factor will be acceptable, which can literally ruin everything.

Whether there will be more ... After the coronavirus pandemic, there will be billions of used medical masks in the world. From them, too, will be a lot of garbage.

Therefore, the results of such studies are useful.rather, so that we ourselves realize how we relate to our planet. We have one, but we can change it. Therefore, we must treat it more carefully. And “one person will not change anything” does not work here. Each person contributes to pollution, but he can reduce it.