Plastic pollution builds up in Arctic waters: study

Date:

Share post:

Even though few people live in the Artic, some seas in the region are heavily polluted with plastic because of an Atlantic ocean current which dumps debris there, researchers said Wednesday.

Plastic pollution builds up in Arctic waters: study
The findings “stress the importance of properly managing plastic litter at its source, because once it enters the ocean, 
its destination can be unpredictable,” said the report [Credit: AFP/Martin Bernetti)

Scientists aboard the globe traveling French schooner, Tara, in 2013 were surprised to find the seas east of Greenland and north of Scandinavia are a dead-end for plastics, said the report in the journal Science Advances.

The findings “stress the importance of properly managing plastic litter at its source, because once it enters the ocean, its destination can be unpredictable,” said the report.

The reason the Greenland and Barents Seas and are a dumping ground is known as the North Atlantic branch of the Thermohaline Circulation, a current sometimes called “the global ocean conveyer belt,” which ferries plastic particles to the area.

The pathway of plastic through the North Atlantic Ocean was also traced using 17,000 satellite buoys.

The debris in the area was estimated to measure hundreds of tons, and included fishing lines, plastic films, fragments and granules.

A similar amount of plastic pile up can be found in areas closer to the equator.

Researchers said the large amounts of film-type plastic made them think the “plastic had largely traveled from distant sources, including the coasts of northwest Europe, the UK and the east coast of the US.”

The study found that Arctic floating plastic accounts for less than three percent of the global total, but warned it will continue to accumulate in the coming years.

Source: AFP [April 19, 2017]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Tourism threatening Arthur Conan Doyle’s lost world

The Guiana mountain tops -- an wide area of tabular highlands and high cliffs with tepuis -- are...

Earth’s mantle, not its core, may have generated planet’s early magnetic field

New research lends credence to an unorthodox retelling of the story of early Earth first proposed by a...

Could yesterday’s Earth contain clues for making tomorrow’s medicines?

Several billion years ago, as the recently formed planet Earth cooled down from a long and brutal period...

Stronger west winds blow ill wind for climate change

Stronger westerly winds in the Southern Ocean could be the cause of a sudden rise in atmospheric CO2...

Long-lasting effects of ironwork on mammal distributions over the last millennium in Japan

Awareness is growing among scientists about the significance of pre-modern anthropogenic impacts prior to the Industrial Revolution on...

Why it snows so much in the frozen north

When it doesn't show signs of stopping, most of us just mumble a few choice words and get...

Study validates East Antarctic ice sheet to remain stable even if western ice sheet melts

A new study from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis validates that the central core of the East Antarctic ice...

Arctic permafrost thaw plays greater role in climate change than previously estimated

Abrupt thawing of permafrost will double previous estimates of potential carbon emissions from permafrost thaw in the Arctic,...