Arctic Water Is Littered With Plastic Pieces

Posted: Apr 20 2017, 3:58pm CDT | by , Updated: Apr 20 2017, 4:05pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Arctic Water is Littered with Plastic Fragments
A collection of plastic fragments found in the Arctic Ocean. Credit: Andres Cozar

Don't Miss: This How to find Fingerlings in Stock

Some parts of Arctic Ocean are heavily polluted with plastic because of an Atlantic ocean current, says study

Plastic pollution that has been dumped into the world’s oceans is now entering the Arctic and causing it to lose its pristine state.

New study has found that some parts of the Arctic Ocean like east of Greenland and north of Scandinavia are accumulating high concentrations of plastics thanks to the powerful current from Atlantic Ocean.

Arctic has become a “dead end” for plastics floating in the North Atlantic. Its Greenland and Barents Seas now contain hundreds of tons of plastic debris composed of around 300 billion pieces, most of which are as tiny as grain.

In 2013, a team of researchers aboard the research vessel Tara sailed through the Arctic Ocean and were surprised to find abundance of plastics in many areas despite the fact that human population in the region is very low. When researchers followed the pathway of plastic through the North Atlantic Ocean using 17,000 satellite buoys, they were able to piece together how the plastic ended up there.

Plastic flows from the North Atlantic to the Arctic by the Gulf Stream, a huge ocean current that also carries warm waters from the Gulf of Mexico to Europe and US coasts. Once it makes its way into the Arctic Ocean, this current sinks and returns to the equator, but the plastic does not sink with it and builds up in Arctic waters.

"What is really worrisome is that we can track this plastic near Greenland and in the Barents Sea directly to the coasts of northwest Europe, the UK and the east coast of the US. It is our plastic that ends up there, so we have a responsibility to fix the problem.” Co-author Dr Erik van Sebille from Imperial College London said in a statement.

This plastic pollution is a big threat for marine life living in Arctic. Seabirds can eat them by mistake or become tangled in floating plastic. In any case, this plastic debris could prove harmful for the Arctic wildlife.

The Arctic is one of the most pristine ecosystems we still have. And at the same time it is probably the ecosystem most under threat from climate change and sea ice melt,” said van Sebille. “Any extra pressure on the animals in the Arctic, from plastic litter or other pollution, can be dangerous.”

Researchers suggest there should be a better way to deal with world’s plastic debris. Plastics should be stopped from going into the ocean. Because once it enters the ocean, it can reach anywhere and becomes nearly impossible to remove.

Holiday Gift Guides and Deals

Get your Holiday gifting inspired by Best Toy Gifts with High STEM Value and the Top 10 toy gifts under $10 if you are on budget. The most popular Holiday 2017 toy list include Fingerlings, Crate Creatures and more. Don't miss the new Holiday deals on Amazon Devices, including $29.99 Fire tablet.

This story may contain affiliate links.

This free App Solves You Holiday Shopping Problem


Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Fingerling, Luvabella, SNES Classic and more.

Latest News

Comments

The Author


Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

Advertisement

comments powered by Disqus