Microplastics found in freshly fallen snow in Antarctica

(ORDO NEWS) — Microplastics continue to penetrate even the most remote corners of the planet. Now researchers have discovered it in fresh snow on the once untouched land of Antarctica.

It seems that there is nowhere to hide from microplastics…

In a new study published in The Cryosphere , New Zealand scientists analyzed fresh snow from 19 sites near Antarctica’s Ross Island and found plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in diameter in each sample.

On average, a liter of melted snow contained about 29 microplastic particles, the most numerous of which was PET, the plastic most commonly used to make bottles and clothing.

“It’s incredibly sad, but the discovery of microplastics in fresh Antarctic snow highlights the extent of plastic pollution in even the most remote regions of the world,” the researchers wrote.

Why is this pollution dangerous?

Scientists fear that the presence of microplastics in Antarctica could accelerate the melting of ice and snow in the region.

This is because darker microplastic particles will darken the snow and ice, which in turn will cause more absorption of sunlight and heat.

Pollution can also affect the region’s wildlife. The scientists cite previous studies that have shown that microplastics have already been found in the diet of a number of native penguin species.

Importantly, the new study had limitations. Scientists believe that more work needs to be done, taking more samples for analysis and covering a larger area of ​​​​the continent.


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