Ecologists find plastic debris in multi-year ice off the coast of Svalbard

(ORDO NEWS) — Over the past decades, scientists have found huge amounts of plastic debris and microplastics not only in rivers and lakes, but also in many remote regions of the oceans, where giant “garbage patches” have arisen.

Polar explorers and ecologists have found a large number of fragments of plastic utensils, packaging and other particles of plastic debris in multi-year ice off the coast of the Svalbard archipelago. This was announced on Tuesday by the press service of the German Alfred Wegener Institute (AWE).

“Our analysis indicates that the level of plastic pollution in the Arctic as a whole is comparable to how much such garbage is present in other parts of the Earth.

The consequences of this can be very serious, since the Arctic ecosystems are already under enormous pressure due to the ultra-fast growth temperatures in the Arctic,” said AWE researcher Melania Bergmann, quoted by the institute’s press service.

Over the past decades, scientists have found huge amounts of plastic debris and microplastics not only in rivers and lakes, but also in many remote regions of the oceans, where giant “garbage patches” have arisen.

In addition to this, particles of plastic debris have recently been found at the bottom of the Mariana Trench and on top of Mount Everest.

Bergmann and her colleagues concluded that similar problems hit another deserted region of the Earth, the territory of the polar archipelago of Svalbard and the northern ice masses adjacent to it.

Scientists made this discovery while analyzing the results of their own expeditions to Svalbard, as well as similar studies of their colleagues who visited other regions of the Arctic.

Plastic pollution in the Arctic

As part of these observations, scientists regularly collected samples of multi-year ice, and also studied the contents of the stomachs of arctic birds, pinnipeds, polar bears and other inhabitants of the Arctic.

Similar measurements were carried out both off the coast of Svalbard and Eurasia, and at a great distance from land.

As these measurements showed, a large number of small plastic particles, as well as fragments of plastic dishes, bags for food, cosmetic and hygiene products, as well as textiles and other plastic debris, were found not only in the body of animals and birds, but also in samples of perennial ice. and soil from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.

Some of these samples, as scientists note, were collected in the vicinity of the North Pole of the planet, as well as off the northern coast of Greenland and Chukotka. The coast of Western Siberia, as well as the coastal regions of the Kara Sea, remains relatively free from plastic waste.

A large number of particles of plastic debris in the water and ice of the Arctic, according to Bergmann and his colleagues, has already led to the fact that they often began to enter the organisms of animals and birds that live in Svalbard and Franz Josef Land.

This creates an additional threat to their survival in addition to rising summer and winter temperatures, shrinking ice and weakening currents, the scientists concluded.

Online:

Contact us: [email protected]

Our Standards, Terms of Use: Standard Terms And Conditions.